Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I am running a little behind posting my Designed2Delight challenge card. Spent the Easter weekend getting ready for the Holy Day with my younger daughter and her two boys. Anyway, was finally able to finish my card and here it is. Isn't the little frog darling? I really like the spring look of this image. It came with three toad-ally awesome quotes that can be used, but since I don't always know how I'm going to use my cards or to whom they will be going, I prefer not to limit their usage by putting a saying on prior to getting ready to mail. I can add one of the sayings (or even a different one) to the front of the card prior to mailing it off.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The pictures above are a little Easter gift that I have made for my granddaughter's first grade teacher. Claire loves her teacher and loves giving her gifts and cards. Many times, the cards are made by my granddaughter herself. However, due to scheduling and time, she wasn't able to help me with this project other than to pick out the items she wanted in the little bucket.
Some years back, there was an auto bumper sticker that read, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." I appreciate teachers. I always have, even as a kid going through school. I was fortunate to have really good teachers who inspired me to want to learn. In this day and time, however, it seems as if teachers and the American school system are constantly getting lamblasted. American kids have fallen behind in nation rankings, and the poor teachers are being blamed. As in any profession, there are good and there are inadequate. The majority of teachers, in my opinion, are good ones.
When I was growing up, my parents expected and insisted that I put forth my best efforts in school. I was not entitled to an education. I had to earn it by doing the work expected of me, studying, and listening to my teacher. If I wasn't putting forth my best, my parents restricted my other activities until I was back on the right track! I won't use a blanket generalization by saying that (all) parents no longer enforce expectations on their children, but I have seen an awful lot of parents who want to blame the teachers for their child's lack of accomplishment. Rather than placing the expectation and responsibility on their own child, they rant and rave that the teacher isn't a good teacher. Parents often complain about the homework that is assigned to their child and when it is assigned. I've heard parents belittle projects and assignments. I've heard parents complain that tests are too difficult. I've heard parents belittle teachers and administrators. The sad thing is that I've heard all those negatives being spewed in ear-shot of the children. What kind of messages do those negative comments convey?
Most teachers give an awful lot of themselves. They contend with between 20-30 different personalities, energy levels and learning abilities on a daily basis. They spend time after the normal day grading papers, planning, and preparing. Their summer breaks (which have, in many states, been shortened) may be spent taking additional classes required to keep their certifications renewable. Many are expected to participate in or attend extra activities, and most all are expected to attend Parent-Teacher Assoc. meetings one evening per month.
Yes, I appreciate teachers, and I am glad that my granddaughter appreciates her teachers. Little gifts such as the Easter bucket are nice, but they don't compare to teaching your child to respect a good education, putting forth their best effort, and respecting the person who is giving of their time to TEACH.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I am a member of an online group of wonderfully talented ladies called "Scrapfriendly." We have motivationals and challenges for all sorts of wonderful paper crafts from scrapbook pages to seasonal decorations. Every Friday, though, we have a card challenge. The challenge may be a technique, a theme, a color combination or an image. This week's challenge was the Bargello technique using scraps of paper to create an unique background for our cards. Below is the card I created for this challenge. Using two solid papers and two patterned papers, I cut .75" strips and adhered them to a thin background paper, butting each strip up against the previous strip. I then turned the paper sideways and cut .50" and .25" strips. Again, I adhered those strips onto a background piece, alternating the two sizes, and arranging them so the colors formed a zig-zag pattern. I then cut that piece to fit my card, leaving a slight border of my card base showing all around. I colored my stamped image using Copics markers, and I used my Nestability Dies to cut the image, the scalloped mat and the shape for the saying. I'm a ribbon kind of gal, so as a last touch, I added a bow to the upper right corner at an angle. I think it all came together nicely (if I do say so myself - smile)!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
No musings this evening, just the latest card for the Designed2Delight weekly challenge and a photo of the co-producer of the card. Annie seemed to think that I needed her help from the coloring to the final product. When we had finished, she made off with some of my ribbon and was last seen tossing it around the craft room. If you would like to take a look at the other entires for this week, hop on over to http://designed2delight.com and check them out. Click "ladybug-balancing-act" on the side bar on the left. All the cards are at the bottom of the black and white image. There are some really nice cards there (more will be added through Thursday as participants add theirs). You will also find lots of really cute digi-stamps for sale, too.
Friday, April 15, 2011
I have a friend who periodically sends out cards to numerous people. There is no set pattern to when she sends her cards. Some of the cards are quite simple, computer generated, and some are a bit more involved handmade ones. I don't know how many cards she sends out, but it is her way of touching the lives of people she knows (and probably many she doesn't know -- I'm not sure). There is always an uplifting little message inside her cards, and they always seem to arrive when the recipient REALLY needs them (how she always knows is amazing because she lives hundreds of miles from many of the people who receive her little cards). Since I've gotten back into card making myself, it struck me that maybe my friend would also like to be surprised on occasion with a card (turning the tables, sort of speak), so I made this little card for her. I feel ashamed that for a number of years, I've been the recipient of my friend's kindness but only returned it during those "usual" card sending times (holidays, birthdays, etc.). It made me stop to think about how often I may have willingly taken without giving back -- and I'm not just talking about cards. Our friends, family and loved ones are special gifts that are given to us. We should treat them as treasures, and yet, it is so easy to go day after day taking their presence in our lives for granted. In less than a year, my friend lost her father, mother and husband to death. However, even in her sadness, she continues to think about other people and reach out to them. A simple little act, a card, and yet what a tremendous message of love it brings. I resolve to start being more like my friend. Little acts of kindness can sure make someone feel good. I know, because I just received another card in the mail! Thanks dear friend.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Like a lot of people, I am a total Christmas nut! I love all aspects of Christmas, the spiritual and the secular. The idea of a wee slip of a girl, barely in her teens, giving birth to the Son of God is so awesome. It takes my breathe away. As for the securlar, well, who cannot delight in the wonder and joy seen in the eyes of little ones when they glimpse a jolly old man in a red suit? Anything that brings happiness and magic to the lives of children the way just the thought of Santa Clause does -- well, that cannot be bad.
I don't like the commercialism that has now become so prevalent with the Christmas season. I can become quite a curmudgeon when I even think about the amount of money that is spent on gifts and toys at Christmas. The concept of handmade gifts from the heart is so much more romantic and in keeping with the original concepts of the holiday. Sadly, few people have the time or inclination to hand create gifts, and then there are many who view handmade gifts with distain as if they are inferior or less worthy. I, personally, treasure handmade gifts. It thrills me to think someone took the time to make something specifically for ME!
The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally been the day we put up our Christmas tree. Before my husband and I down-sized our living space, we would often put up 2-3 trees. I get very excitged pulling out ornaments each year. Ninety-nine percent of my ornaments are handmade, either by me, my children, friends, or crafters from various craft shows I've attended. They are made from wood or cloth or gourds or beads -- a variety of materials -- but, like the spirit of the wonderful holiday for which they are intended, they all represent giving of oneself. Each one has a little bit of the creator in it. Each is unique and original in its creation. Now, how very special is that?
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Children are so cute when they are trying to learn to speak and master language. Developmentally they learn different sounds at different points, so many of the words and phrases they start out using are quite charming and endearing. My children and grandchildren have all used terms that were so cute that they became part of the family vocabulary long after the child mastered the correct pronunciation. My son, hearing his two older sisters talk about wanting to purchase Calvin Kline jeans, announced that he didn't want any "Calvin Clown" jeans. Sorry Mr. Kline, but from that point to this day, you are Calvin Clown to this family. When my granddaughter, now seven, was between two and three years old, her older brothers engaged in the then current trend of making "pinkie promises" which required the two participants to link their little fingers together and declare "pinkie promise" to each other. This was serious stuff because a pinkie promise was even more binding than crossing one's heart. Not yet able to make the pr sound in words, my granddaughter substituted the m sound so that promise became momise. I happened to have my camera out taking photos when I overheard and was able to capture Claire soliciting a "pinkie momise" from her two brothers. Yes, to this day this family still makes momises to each other rather than promises, but isn't it those little things that make a family special and tie us to each other? I think so -- pinkie momise!!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Even thought my posts thus far have showcased recent cards that I've made, I don't just make cards. Over the years (and there have been many), I've dabbled in all kinds of craft forms from crocheting, knitting and needle arts to decorative/tole painting, scrapbooks and cards. I've done many and mastered none. I didn't learn any of those crafts "at my grandmother's or mother's knee," so I didn't grow up learning them. They all just entered my life for one reason or another, and I can't really pin-point, for most of them, the why. I think the creative process is important. I think we should pass the joy of making something, if we can, to our children and grandchildren. The creative process, no matter which medium or form, teaches problem solving, creative thought and adaptability. Crafters tend to be happier people. Crafters see beauty in the mundane. Crafters build and create, and they give of themselves. OK, not everyone is a Monet, Van Dyke or Angelo. So what? What we create with our heads, heart and hands is just as lovely and valuable as the painting of those masters. Besides, the process can be fun and relaxing (if we let it be and don't get too hung up on the outcome). CREATE -- even a copy is original when it is done by YOU!
Monday, April 11, 2011
That cute little bunny image was a freebie from Dustin Pike of Doodle Dragon Studios. Two girlfriends and I challenged each other to download the image and create a card (or cards) using it. We did not show each other our images until we had all completed the task. It was fun to see how each of us had approached the coloring and the card making. One of my friends used similar colors as mine, but she added a textured embossing element to the tail to give it a fuzzy look. My other friend went entirely whimsical with her image and colored her bunnies (she did several) pink or blue. All three of us made multiple cards using the image, and our cards were equally different in style. As you can see, I created one card in more traditional Easter colors and gave it a feminine look. I created the other to appear more masculine by using deeper colors. For a fun learning experience, challenge some of your card making friends to a similar project. You may enjoy, as I did, seeing the differences and similarities in the art process between you and your friends.
Have fun and color happy,
Sunday, April 10, 2011
As promised, I have the site to share where I got the little bear with flowers image. After a couple hours of frustrating searching, my dear friend Bonnie came to my rescue. Bonnie often comes to my rescue. She is such a treasure. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a wonderful Bonnie in their life. Anyway, I have gotten side-tracked (not terribly unusual for me). The bear image was create by Lyn and posted to her blog at spyder-spyderscorner.blogspot.com Jenée
I am beginning to think that Mother Nature has forgotten there is supposed to be four seasons in every year. The temperatures here in Georgia reached the 90's two days in a row. That's way too hot way too early, and I was looking forward to some nice spring temperatures before the heat wave hit. Rumor has it, though, that starting tomorrow the tempertures are supposed to drop back to reasonable 70's which is more in line with what they should be for April. Since Mother Nature thinks it is summer, then the little card I made today fits right in. Don't you just love all the lovely flowers in little bear's bouquet? This image is another digi-stamp (and I have forgotten from which site I got it, but I promise I'll look it up and give proper credit). It is a delightful little image and was fun to color. I tried dozens of different papers for the background, but in the end, I kept it simple due to the image being a little busy.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
This is the second image/card for the designed2delight weekly image challenge. This was a fun little image to color with those adorable little mice ready to party (my kind of animals :-)!) I can see this card used as a birthday card, a friendship card for someone special, or even a get well card. Since I'm not yet sure what I am going to do, I've left my options open by not adding any sentiments at this time.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Typical of Georgia weather, we've had a myriad of temperatures and conditions for over a month. Spring flowers have bloomed or are blooming, but Mother Nature hasn't been convincing that spring is here for good. One day we wear short sleeves only to have to pull out sweats the next. However, our first Hummingbirds have made their arduous journey back and arrived two days ago. My dear Hubs puts out feeders each year and annually feeds a population of no less than a dozen upwards of the amazing little hummers. Their antics keep us entertained from April to October as they vie for their turn at the feeders. With the belief that our little feathered friends are truly a sign that spring is actually here, I am sharing my little granddaughter's spring/Easter project. As I mentioned, she is quite the little crafter. She doesn't allow me to help her very much when she is creating, so I usually stand back (in awe) and let her Muses do their thing. After creating the bunny and chick using my Cricut machine, she decorated them and attached them to a cardstock "box." She added the handle using glue dots and brads. She plans to put "grass" and plastic eggs inside the box and use this for an Easter decoration. (She's just waiting for her Ma'am to take her to the craft store to buy the grass.) I encourage her to be creative as much as I can by giving her free reign of my craft supplies. I think she does a pretty good job!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I have been like a kid with a new box of crayons and a new coloring book lately. Those Copic markers are not like regular markers and take a bit of getting used to. I would love to be able to go up to SC in June to take a real class from Suzanne Dean (who is acclaimed as being an outstanding teacher) so that I could learn the proper way to use my makers. But since June is a ways off and also I probably will not be able to attend the class, I must be content with watching You-tube videos by Suzanne and just using the markers best I can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Everyone is doing it -- blogging, that is -- so I decided I needed to get in on the act. Actually, I joined an online weekly digi-stamp group and needed a place to display my work; thus, this blog. I've been quite busy (well, busy for this lazy body) learning to use Copics markers, creating cards, discovering paper flowers and occasionally creating a scrapbook layout. You may see some of those here as well as possibly other creations I have done or will do. You may even see a creation or two by my very talented 7 years old granddaughter as she is quite the little crafter herself. At any rate, this site is here, and even if I'm the only one to visit, I'll enjoy myself.
The card at the beginning of this blog was for a weekly challenge at designed2delight.blogspot.com.