Friday, December 9, 2016

A Texas Birthday!

Well Howdy!!!
That's the appropriate way of saying "hello" here in Texas!!! and I'm all about letting everyone know that we are now in TEXAS!!! (ha ha). I just think it's really interesting that people here are so proud of being from Texas... You hear it everywhere, especially TV, that they're proud of it! It's great to identify yourself so positively with the State you are living in. It's a very positive sense of belonging.

They have a little song here at Christmas time that goes: "Merry Texas Christmas to you..."
I just love it. It makes me laugh every time. Makes you think that a "Texas Christmas" is much more special than a Christmas anywhere else!!! And they do have a lot of stuff that is "Texas": the boots, the hats, the Tex-Mex food, the Fiestas for every occasion...and let's not forget the longhorn cattle and the rodeos!!!  YES, THERE IS A LOT TO LOVE ABOUT TEXAS!!!

It's my husband's Birthday and when I thought about his card, I just couldn't get that ditty out of my head about a Texas Christmas aka a Texas Birthday!!! Seemed so fitting. Last year on his Birthday, we had just moved here and had no time for a "Birthday" (we did go out to a fun restaurant)...but THIS YEAR... it was time for a Texas Birthday!!!

So here's the card I made. I love the stamps from Lili of the Valley from Australia. I haven't bought any recently, but I love the ones I have. Their little people are just so cute!!! Those ladies are very talented!!! Isn't it so wonderful that we are so connected with countries that are thousands of miles away and we can shop their stores as though they were next door. (Well, not quite... there's the postage...)








 My husband is retired... so snoozing under a tree is what he is SUPPOSED to be doing. But as everyone knows... as long as God gives us breath, we have "stuff" to do. But we do have a lot more time to relax and read the paper (or watch a football game)...  that's the favorite "do nothing" around this house!!!




 Someone gave me this stamp a long time ago. I'm not crazy about mice, but this one is perfect for the signature on the back. I did it in gold so that it would show up on the navy blue. It came out quite nice, I thought. I'll probably use it a whole lot more now.

The deets:
I just bought a set of Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. SO EXCITED!!! I had heard about them so much but thought I really only wanted to work with watercolors. I still LOVE watercolors of all kinds, but had to get honest with myself, that trying to do watercolors on these small images was quite difficult. Watercolors need space to spread and take shape, some of the spaces on these small stamps are so little, you really don't get any flow and it is much harder to manage. Working with these pencils was such a pleasure!!! They went on beautifully. And where the space was a little bigger, like a coat, I just used a blender pencil (dry) and it was great. I think you can also use gamsol or some other mineral spirit. I will try that soon.

The background is a blend of Tim Holtz Distress stamp pads and the white grid is done with a white pencil. I like the background. The grid gives it a very different look.

 Here's the challenges I am entering with this card:

http://thepencilcases.blogspot.ca/  Anything goes with coloring
http://addictedtocas.blogspot.com.au/  Celebrate
http://chocolatebaroquechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/ color challenge

Thank you so much for stopping by.I wish I could meet all of you in person.
Have a very BLESSED and SAFE Holiday season,

Elena




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Memories made...

Hello there,

It's a beautiful day here in San Antonio. It's the day before Thanksgiving and I am still getting used to 70 degrees and sunny!!! My hubby and I reminisce how many years we saw the first big snowstorm on Thanksgiving in Michigan. He always talks about the fact that the year we were married (1958) we went to my parents' farm outside Grand Rapids, to celebrate Thanksgiving. Our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. So EXCITING!!!! That was the year we had one of the biggest blizzards in years!!! We were snowed in. The drifts were almost up to the men's chests and there was no way any car was going to get down that small street my parents lived on. That street didn't get plowed until all the big streets were taken care of.

Luckily, Mom had invited quite a large gathering, and at about 5:00 o'clock they all went out and started shoveling. Being on a farm, there were quite a few shovels around and they could all get to work. It took several hours, but they shoveled all the way to the main street and we could all start for home. With fear and trepidation, we all left and hoped that the main streets were in pretty good shape. There were no cell phones then, so we were really on our own until we got to town. Town was about 15 miles from the farm. We were so glad it wasn't any further. We all made it home safely!!

A MEMORY MADE to be talked about for many years to come!!!

I think that's one of the reasons we make cards... Memories made!!!  
We, the creators, search around until we find the right idea to bless the person the card is for. And the receiver enjoys what has been a labor of love, made just for them!  (Or, at least we hope that's how it works out... it might not every time, but hopefully, most of the time our labor of love is enjoyed and appreciated by those we send them to).

On to my card:
 I took a class a couple of years ago on ON LINE CLASSES by Jennifer McGuire and friends.
It was "watercoloring for cards". I enjoyed it a lot.
Now, I think it is time to re-visit some of the techniques we learned and use them again. These next few cards will be using the ombre backgrounds and watercolor wash. I don't feel like I got that real well. So I will be doing some cards with those techniques.






Since it is time to be making some Christmas cards, I had decided to use the snowman and the penguins. I bought these last year and didn't get to use them very much. The first lesson was to make an ombre background and Jennifer McGuire made a sample using shades of blue with these large snowflakes. I just loved them, so I went with that idea too.  The ombre is kind of hard to see, I should have gone down to a lighter blue... sorry!

 I wanted a slim, long card so I cut my watercolor paper just 2 1/2 in. wide.
I then dipped the back end of a small paint brush and applied FRISKET to the white watercolor paper to mask off those dots. Then when the background is dry, the Frisket just rolls off the paper and you see the white dots.

I then stamped the snowman (a Penny Black stamp) on to a separate piece of watercolor paper and colored him in. I also went over the black outline with a Sharpie pen to make it stand out better.
Cut him out when he's done.

I glued the snowman into position and used a paste knife to give him snow to stand on. The snow is Dreamweaver Embossing Paste. It's a great paste to work with. This one is "pearl".
Of course, a little glitter always adds the right touch!

The second card is the same techniques but using the penguins (so cute).
Both of these stamps are just so adorable.
I love Penny Black stuff.

Here are the challenges I am entering:
http://caswatercolour.blogspot.ca/  Christmas greetings
http://pennyblackatallsorts.blogspot.com/  Anything Christmas


Thanks for coming over to take a look,
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Elena


Friday, November 18, 2016

One more Christmas card...

Hello again,
This is the second card I made for that challenge with my friend. We do two cards per month, sooooo I AM DONE FOR THIS MONTH!!! Doesn't it always feel so good to be able to check something off... DONE FOR THE WHOLE MONTH!!!

I do LOVE chllenges, though, so it doesn't mean that I don't challenge myself for the rest of the month... it only means that I can wrap my brain around something else that catches my eye. I read a lot of card/scrapooking blogs and look at challenge sites. It is always so inspiring to see what's going on in the community. People are just so CREATIVE. New ideas that just makes me ask... "HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT???"  One of the designers that I never miss is JENNIFER McGUIRE.  She is one of the best!!!

Who do you follow and think they are just the tops????
Write me a comment and let me know. Maybe it will be someone new to me and I can find a new person to follow.

Here is my card:





This is a Penny Black stamp that I just love. I used watercolors on the leaves that are red. (I have now learned that the flower itself is the yellow in the middle. The colors on the poinsettia are on the top leaves). The watercolors I used are the ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Pens. I like these a lot... they are very easy to use. The green leaves are done with the same pens.

I embossed the "Believe" by stamping with Versamark and embossing with silver glitter powder. It's a very pretty powder for this beautiful, swirly word. 

I am entering this card into these challenges:
http://pennyblackatallsorts.blogspot.com/  Anything Christmas with a stamp.

Thanking for visiting my blog.
Hope you enjoyed what you saw.
I'd love to hear from you....

Love & Hugs,
Elena




Monday, November 14, 2016

Just keep practicing...

Hello once again...

It is so beautiful here in San Antonio right now.
The weather has cooled down, the sky is just a very beautiful blue and there are still lots of flowers all around. I am enjoying it a lot!!! But, my friends in Michigan told me this weekend that it's getting pretty cool (in the 40's) and it's time to keep those coats and scarves hung up by the door. I kind of shudder when I hear that, but thre is a beauty to being in the cold weather around the Holidays,  The cold, the wind and the leaves swirling around make it really feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it helps to build that excitement because everything around you tells you that it's THAT TIME OF THE YEAR!!!

I find it much harder to get in the spirit of Christmas around here, when it's still warm outside and we don't even need a sweatshirt to go for our walk in the morning. But the true meaning of Christmas doesn't change... and we need to make Christmas special no matter where we are.

I'm going to stop feeling sorry for myself now and focus on makig great memories where we are and with the family we have here. We moved to San Antonio to be closer to our daughter and her family and we are very happy that we did that. It is working out wonderfully, God has blessed us all abundantly and we have had a great year. So I am gathering ideas for decorating and started making some frosty and Christmas-y cards to get me in the mood.

I am really working on my watercoloring. I am not a natural. My coloring doesn't just come together and look wonderful. But I am bound and determined to get good enough so that I am happy with it. Watercoloring is my most favorite medium. There is not much I don't love about paper crafts. I love to use a lot of the different mediums that are out there, but my overall favorite, and the main point in almost everything I do, is watercolor. I have taken many classes, but have not mastered any of it. BUT I AM NOT GIVING UP. I WILL WORK AT IT UNTIL IT GETS LOTS AND LOTS BETTER!!!

So here is this card that features a bird on a branch. I knew exactly how I wanted the card to look... and that came out ok, but the pine cones would NOT cooperate at all!!! I loooovve the little bird, but I want him to come out better next time. I added embossing paste and glitter to the pinecones... if you're not happy with a pine cone... just add glitter!!!!




The stamp is a Penny Black stamp.
And that little bird is just the cutest little bird ever!!!

Here are the challenges I am entering with this card:
http://thepencilcases.blogspot.ca/  Anything goes with a colored image
http://caswatercolour.blogspot.ca/  Text on card (not a sentiment)
http://casmixup.blogspot.com/   Stamping, masking + choice
     3 Penny Black stamps (bird and berries are separate); bird was masked to have the greenery     
      come up over his tummy; I used embossing paste and glitter to cover parts of the pine cones.
      
Please let me know you've been here and if you are also struggling to get some technique come out just right!!!

Be blessed,
Elena


Thursday, November 3, 2016

November in Texas!!!!!

We have been living here for a year now...and loving it!!!
But, just like everybody said, "SUMMER IS HOT IN TEXAS!". yes, yes, yes!!!
No two ways about it...IT IS BRUTAL!
Still, we have air conditioning in our homes,  we have air conditioned cars, and we work  and  shop in air conditioned spaces. Life is GOOD!!!

I am now pretty much organized in my craft space and am really excited to get back into making cards and finishing the small albums I had started before we moved.  I never really had to quit crafting, even though it was tough finding the stuff I needed to get a project finished. Right now, though, the challenge is to find where I so lovingly "organized" an item that I now need.  It's somewhere in here... I know it is!!!

Here is a card I just finished for a challenge my friend and I share. It keeps us trying new techniques and keep in touch with each other (she lives in Grand Rapids, MI).  The challenge was to make an inlaid die-cut on a card. I had seen it a lot, but had never really done one myself. I have not seen her card yet, so I don't know what she came up with. But here is mine: 



This is a Memory Box die that I just love. It is actually just one of those little branches.
I cut one die out of the white and then made a cut with my scissors to cut the white layer down the middle. Leaving just one half of the die in the white part.

I used another white card front to stamp the orange chevron image. I love how it works with the kraft paper. After I stamped, I glued the chevron paper onto the back of the white paper with the die cut.

Then I cut 3x out of the kraft paper. I used liquid glue to make small dots along the back of the die cut and fitted the cut into the white paper...letting the free pieces of die fall onto the chevron paper.
Then I glued and  placed the other two cuts on top of the inlaid piece.

Sounds complicated, but it's not.
Hope you like it..

I am sending this to my friend and entering it into these challenges:

http://inspiredbyallthelittlethings.blogspot.com/ 
     coffee and white
http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/wednesdaychallenge/
     thinking of you
http://timeoutchallenges.blogspot.com/
     give thanks with a grateful heart

So, this is it for today....
May God bless you and yours this Holiday Season...

Elena



 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I LOVE polka dots...

Hmmmm I wonder why they are called polka dots???????
Have you ever wondered that??? 
I think it's time to do a Google search....sometimes we just want to KNOW!!!!

I do love polka dots though. There are certain things we are just drawn to, you know?
For me it's deep, rich colors; stripes; polka dots; water coloring, plus some other things, but these four catch my eye every time.  So when I saw that Simon Says Stamp! wanted polka dots on their Wednesday challenge, I just had to jump in.

A couple years ago, I found some very cheap jewelry (like 50cents each) of a pendant and a couple of earrings. They were still mounted on their cards and those cards were bright, shiny, small polka dot bright red and a bright, shiny navy blue. Those cards made my heart beat FAST!!! I wouldn't have cared what was on the front of those cards..I wanted that paper!!!  So, here it is, a couple years later and I still had one small square of the navy blue polka dot card left. I had a challenge with a friend and she called for at least one inchie square on our card.   That was PERFECT!!! I can do that!!!  I got 3 small one inch squares out of that little piece of card!!! YAY!!!




So for this card, I sponged a stencil with my chalks (I did 4 cards using stencils and chalks.) I enjoyed that technique so much I couldn't quit. I know chalks are old stuff for most of us, But isn't it so FUN and SATISFYING to use again something that has been sitting around for a long while...and find that you enjoy it as much now as you did then? I'm always wanting the next new thing...but i need to work on using an old loved thing that hasn't been used for a while. 
I sprayed the chalk with a little hairspray and then heat set it so that it won't brush off.

Next, I stamped the "Happy Birthday to you" in pink so bring out that pink around the little birds.
The little song notes came from the bird stamp by Lawn Fawn. I love that little stamp. Those little birds can be used anywhere. They don't have to always be the main event.

And of course, the inchie squares. I stacked two heavy cardstock to back the navy polka dot. Stacked the birds too. It makes the cut-outs much better looking.

So here's the two challenges I am entering this in:

Blessings to you all,

Elena



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A new Challenge site

Hello again, It is April already... where does the time go??? We all ask that don't we? .. Time just seems to fly by and many plans are just lost in the thick of every day life. That's just how it is!

 I am just loving the beautiful weather here in San Antonio. Having the sun shining almost every day is such a beautiful thing! Everything is better when the sunshine warms your face and lights up the world. If you've been to San Antonio, you know that it is built on a mountain of rock! Not great if you're trying to plant something, but beautiful to look at. So I am just so excited to have two TINY rose bushes that we planted just last February and they are BLOOMING!!! Roses must REALLY LIKE THE SAN ANTONIO WEATHER!!!

 On to my paper crafts: I follow a lot of designers through email, that's how I get a lot of inspiration and news on what's going on. I have favorites, of course and Loll Thompson http://www.stampingwithloll.com/ is one of them. Loll and a friend of hers started up a new challenge site last month, so this is their 2nd challenge. I didn't get a chance to join them the first time but I made a card right away for this one. If I wait, the time will be gone again. I made this card using a stencil and coloring the background with chalks! I had not used my chalks for a long time. I LOVED how it came out. The three colors I used blended together beautifully. I had forgotten how nice chalk can look! I then stamped the daisy (LaBlanche stamps) with Versamark and embossed in white. I colored the image with my Tombow Twin Markers. As far as I'm concerned, no card is finished without a little glitz and glimmer (sequins).


I do hope this is not too busy for a CAS challenge. 
http://casmixup.blogspot.ca/ Stamping: Daisy by LaBlanche stamps
stenciling was done with chalk.
I also white embossed the flower before coloring with my Tombow markers.

http://sirstampalotchallenge.blogspot.com/ This challenge says "One for the Girls"
I think this card fits that description. Flowers, especially daisies, are always a girly thing!

http://pinterestinspiredchallenge.blogspot.com/ This challenge is for pink and aqua blue...just like what I used. I love that color combination. Awesome!

Okay, so that will do it for me today! 
Have to get these entered so I can get done on the card I owe to my friend. We challenge each other 2x per month and this time it is to use an inchie. I've already got it in my head and can't wait to get on to doing it. I have to mail it out by the 15th!!!

Hugs to all,

Elena