Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mrs. Edwards Gets "Lit" as the kids would say

Hello my dear Unies!  Welcome to our Growing In Unity blog hop.  You get to start here with me today, and I am more than excited about that.  Below you will see the blog hop order and you will have the chance to click on other spectacular blogs and comment to win a fabulous prize pack from Unity Stamp Company.  

I have two little projects for you today. For me as a teacher, summer break is coming in 4 DAYS! I can barely believe it.  But with the end of the school year comes the need for graduation cards.  I think light bulbs are a perfect alternative  to owls or cap and gowns for a graduation.

To achieve this effect I stamped with Versafine Onyx black on kraft cardstock.  I used Gina Marie Wonky stitched rectangles for the base.  I stamped the image from the kit See the Light and sentiment. Then I used Prismacolor pencils to give a faint glow.  I used three colors, white, cream, and a goldenrod color. to diffuse the light.  To make it pop a little more, I used a brown ink called Desert Sand to distress the edges. I was struggling with the sequins, so I grabbed a small handful of the colors I wanted, I dropped them, and then picked a couple off and tweaked them to make sure they didn't cover anything important.  It gave me the randomness my eye wanted. I think this card could be a great gender neutral gift for any graduate.

The next mini project is an ATC.  I've been OBSESSED with Artist Trading Cards since my good friend Annie Sterner introduced me to them.  I've been sharing my pieces on the Show and Tell, which you should join if you haven't already.  The ATC I made could be put inside the above card with an encouraging note on the back that a graduate could stick in one of the 300 dollar textbooks they will probably never read.  I say this from experience.  

I didn't want to make all the bulbs from the kit Glowing and Beautiful a traditional yellow or white.  I thought some colorful lights would make the card pop a bit more.  I'll share a tip for how I colored my lights. Caution: I'm not an expert at coloring; I just experiment and do what looks best to me.  I used four shades of the same hue for each light, and started with the darkest color on the outside. I then overlapped lighter colors toward the inside, using white to give the inside of the bulb a glow. After I blended using a colorless blending pencil, I added a couple white glares in the corners of the bulbs and did not blend those. 

As I said before, these projects are just the beginning of the beauty to come.  Please click on all the links below to visit more amazing craft pages and leave them some love.  If you do, you will be in the running to win a crafty prize from Unity Stamp Company, and you know they never skimp on the prizes.

Friday, March 16, 2018

One card will make you smile and one will haunt your dreams

My week is coming to a close Unies!  Do you know how hard it has been to make all this awesome and keep it to myself!?  Really, really hard.  My last two cards for the week are extraordinarily different.  I wanted to show you the range of cards you can make from SMAK sets. Not everything has to be distressed or worn looking sometimes you can do sweet and simple like I did with this beauty.

I could not stop looking at this card after I made it.  I started with a piece of kraft cardstock, my Misti, and a mandala from the kit Let it Go. I love this image so much.  I need all the kits in my life that have these shapes.  Bohemian Backgrounds and Love What's Meant to Be would also be amazing with this technique.

Here's how to do it.  Place your stamp where you want it on the card, and pick it up with your MISTI or stamp platform.  Then, starting at the inside, use Distress Oxide in twisted citron and ink up the middle.  Spritz with water that first color and stamp.  Then, wipe it off, and do a ring of the next color, Peacock Feathers, spritz and stamp. Wipe and repeat the process with two more colors, Seedless Preserves and Picked Raspberry.  Spritzing the oxides with water give it that milky effect on the kraft paper.  I love how using the MISTI my image stays perfectly in place so I don't have to worry about continually lining things up.

Once the oxides dried, I found the perfect sentiment to go with my simple card.  "The littlest things in life is where we find real, true joy."  How true, how true.  I feel it when I get a hug from a person I love, when I get a piece of happy mail, when I smell dinner cooking when I get home, or even fresh sheets on my bed.  The sentiment is from the kit Find your Zen.  Double mat with white and black and stick on a coordinating card base.  Instant love.

Another feature of the SMAK sets is the distress style stamps.  The vintage style women were what initially attracted me to the membership.  I love them.  They are just the slightest bit spooky. The newest kit has probably the creepiest gal yet.  My goal is to haunt your dreams with this eerie character.  She is from the newest SMAK called Normal is Boring.

What a creep. Am I right?  I just watercolored her, but something about the angle of her neck and the way her eyes follow me around the room gives me a delightful case of the heebie-jeebies.  

I hope you enjoyed my week.  Comment below with your favorite project, kit you just have to have, or a technique you can't wait to try.  Two people who comment on my blog will receive 25 red rubber stamps courtesy of Unity Stamp Company!  What a prize.  Love you all so much.  Muah.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My husband is real and the layout that proves it.

Day 4 Unies, and I'm coming in HOT!  I don't know if you can tell this about me, but I'm a bit of an extrovert.  I love talking with people, getting to know them, encouraging them to be their best selves etc.  My husband, however is not quite so sociable.  In fact, many of my friends have never met him and doubt his existence.  They joke that I don't really have a husband, just a neighbor that I borrow for pictures sometimes.  Well, I showed them!  Would I make an amazing photo layout like this for a random neighbor?

Come on, how flipping cute are we!?! We have the kind of mushy love that if my friends ever did see us together, we would make them sick. After almost 8 years of marriage I'm still gaga for this guy!

I am not a scrapbooker, and I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I decided to try a modern layout.  I found a layout I liked on Pinterest and used what I had and changed it how I wanted.  

I started with my picture.  I liked the pop of red in my scarf and hat, so I used that as my starting point.  I used a piece of kraft paper and got out some of my favorite mixed-media, distress style stamps.  For the background stamps I used parts of the following kits:

I stamped using distress oxides in Candied Apple and Black Soot, as well as using Versafine Onyx Black and gold embossing powder for some of the hearts.

When the background was stamped, I found some coordinating Washi Tape and just added a few strips to add interest to the background.  I think the gold washi brought the project together.

When all was said and done, however, it needed a little bit of cute.  I just bought the kit I Tolerate You by Lisa Arana, and I ADORE that bear and bunny.  I think they look like me and Brian.   I colored the image using my Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, and popped it up overlapping my image.  I added the sentiment from the kit in the bottom corner too.  

Last steps were matting the page, hot gluing on some buttons, and sticking it in an old frame I had laying around the house.  Now my layout sits proudly on my desk at school where my students constantly are asking me, "Is that your husband?"  I reply, "Maybe. Or is it my neighbor?" They walk away very confused.  Seventh graders are so funny like that.

Have you ever used your Unity stamps for a layout or with pictures?  Do you have a significant other that may or may not be your neighbor?  Comment below for a chance to win 25 deeply etched red rubber stamps from Unity Stamp Company!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ATC- Artist Trading Card or Almost Too Cool

Day 3 UNIES!  I hope you are having fun and seeing things you like on my blog this week.  Today I have some ATC's for you.  What is an ATC you ask?  It stands for Artist Trading Card and you make these little 2.5" by 3.5" cards with cute designs and send them to others to add to a collection.  They've been really hot lately since Annie Sterner started blowing up the Show and Tell with all her ATC beauty.  That being said, she sent a lot of them to my sister who was/is in need of a pick me up since she is battling cancer, so I love her for those little ATC's.  To honor Annie's prolific ATC making and to show you don't have to make an A2 card to make someone's day, I give to you 2 artist trading cards I made using some mixed media techniques.

This lil' guy has a lot of bang for the buck, I must say.  I started with my watercolor paper cut to size.  I used Vicki Boutin art crayons colored on my mat and added with water.  I smooshed my card into it to get some random color effects.  I then used a cool wavy stamp from Find your Zen and used the art crayons to color right onto the red rubber. I spritzed the crayon with a water spritz before stamping.  I did the lines in blue crayon and green to make it look dimensional.

I then stamped the sentiment from The Ocean is Calling in Versafine Black Onyx ink and embossed with clear.  The texture on the sides is from another Vicki Boutin product called iridescent glaze.  The glaze comes in a tub and is whitish, but when you add a little bit of her magic crayon scrapings, you can blend the glaze into colors like this!  I just love the color.  I used a palette knife and the Tim Holtz Burlap stencil and went around the sentiment with the glaze.  

One more ATC. For this background, I used Tim Holtz distress spray in cracked pistachio and mermaid lagoon.  The paper is canvas paper, so it has a bit more texture than normal.  I used the tinted Vicki Boutin iridescent glaze through a mini stencil and with a palette knife to get some texture.  Then I got stuck, so I asked the ATC master, Annie Sterner what to do, and she said, "throw a butterfly and a sentiment on there and be done.  It's just a piece of paper!"  She is a wise woman, so I added the image and sentiment from Quilted Wings.  I did add a smidgen of glitter and some white accents to the stamp to make it pop a little.  

I want to know, how do you feel about ATC's (making them or receiving them).  What images or sentiments do you think would be the perfect piece of inspiration on a trading card?  Anyone excited about using glazes through a stencil?  Comment below for a chance to win 25 Unity red rubber stamps!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Art Crayons, Sentimental Cards, and People Who Care

Day 2 of GIU 2018.  Let me be real with you all. I am obsessed with looking at cards and paper crafts online.  My Instagram is full of beautiful works by clever and artists who are incredibly talented.  I go on the Show and Tell and stalk all of your creations. Sometimes in my stalking I run across a technique I can't quite put my finger on, or someone repping a new product I've never seen.  Curious stalking is what led me to my newfound love of Vicki Boutin mixed media products.  Pair her art crayons and glazes with some UNITY realness and you have instant paper craft gold.

Today I'm going to share 2 cards I created using some of Vicki's magic art crayons and the STUNNING SMAK and other Unity kits that I love.

Check out this butterfly card from kit Truest Life.

I embossed the butterfly in gold on printed paper from the pad "Preserved Paper" by DCWV and tore the edges of the paper to get a rustic feel.  Then I colored some of the Vicki Boutin art crayons on my mat, (3 colors of blue) and added some water until it dissolved like a very pigmented watercolor.  I used my colors inside the butterfly, but also let them drip down the page to mimic the stamp's drips.  Honestly, I stole this idea from Laura Mooney who made the most insanely cool drippy flower canvases.  I used the sentiment from Inspired Minds to set this off.  I distressed the edges with distress oxide ink in Walnut Stain and set the sentiment off with a touch of gold washi.  Add a few neutral sequins and voila!

The next card has a special meaning to me.  A friend asked if I would make her a card for her brother who was celebrating his third year being sober.  She always sneaks a little card in the mail to remind him of how proud of him she is, but had trouble finding masculine cards.  I made the card with a little extra love because my uncle who we celebrated for his continual sobriety just passed away last month.  While I was making the card for my friend, I felt like I was making it for my dear uncle Kevin too.  It's funny how making a card can be so cathartic and meaningful.

For this card I used the kits The Ocean is Calling and Sentiments for Graduates.  I embossed the lighthouse in gold again on a piece of watercolor paper.  I used the art crayon in the sandy color right on the bottom part of the box, then water blended it out.  For the sky, I wanted it to look a little stormy, so I smooshed some of the gray and light blue art crayon watered down using acetate.  I could control where it got darker or lighter using the acetate.  That cool rock paper came from DCWV pad called "Beach House."  The little sailboat charm actually came to me in a care package from a dear friend on the Unity Show and Tell named Bobbie Sue!  The Unity Show and Tell is bursting at the seams with the kindest people who have the biggest hearts.  It was awesome to share her kindness on a card with so much meaning.

Don't forget to share some feedback in the comments for a chance to win 25 beautiful stamps from Unity.  Share a story of how someone made a card for you that gave you the feels, or one you made that gave you the warm fuzzies.  Is there a product you are dying to try out?

Monday, March 12, 2018

You'll never believe what she did with alcohol inks....

Congratulations, my fellow Unies, on making it here to Growing in Unity by Shannon Edwards. Folks, I'm getting out of my comfort zone this week, and I'm going all mixed media using distress style stamps from SMAK and a few other favorites. I promise you we will have some fun this week with some ridiculously funny, sometimes messy, and always amazing projects, if I do say so myself.  Not to toot my own horn here, but *toot toot* this first project is probably the coolest thing I've ever made. 

If you know me or have followed my work on the Show and Tell, you know how much I love a sassy lady stamp.  For my first day, I went all kinds of sassy lady crazy and made a set of coasters!

Here's how to make them and exactly what I used.
  • Travertine Tiles
  • Tim Holtz alcohol inks in:
    • silver 
    • gold
    • purple twilight
    • eggplant
    • lettuce
    • sunset orange
    • sunshine yellow
    • cranberry
  • Alcohol ink mixitive or rubbing alcohol
  • Tim Holtz felt applicator and handle
  • Staz-on Black ink
  • DecoARt DuraClear Satin Varnish
  • Stick-on cork circles for the feet
Take your travertine tiles and put a few dots of the alcohol inks you'd like to mix on the tile randomly.  They can touch and overlap just fine.  Then, take one of the metallics, gold or silver, and put it on the applicator with some mixative.  Bounce the handle up and down on the tile, twisting it until the ink gets a marbleized feel.  If you want to add a few drops more of color, go for it! Blend until you like the look.  Make sure you get the edges too.

Once they dry, ink up your sassiest lady in a heavy coating of Staz-on Black ink.  I was surprised how clearly they stamped out on the tiles.  They were nice and smooth, probably because of the deeply etched red rubber of the stamps! ;-)  Once the gals and the sentiments were stamped, I let them dry for probably 20 minutes, and put on a thin layer of varnish just to seal them in and give them a little bit of a shine.  Finally, I stuck a cork circle on each of the corners once the varnish was dry. Now I have classy, sassy ladies to hold my Diet Coke or whatever other beverage I'd like to indulge in.  Here are the up close pics of these wonders.

Honestly, you MUST try this technique.  Even if you want to switch out sassy ladies for, I don't know, snowflakes or flowers or owls, or whatever else you might be into.  Just try.  This technique is so much easier than it looks

Here are all the kits I used for these coasters, including the sentiments

Are you going to try this out, or which is your favorite gal coaster?Don't forget to leave a comment below to be entered in for a chance at winning 25 beautiful stamps from Unity Stamp Co!  

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Unity GIU Blog Hop

Welcome you little Unity-loving Hooligans!  You all are amazing and I'm so happy you made it to my page.  You should have come here from Lori Simonson's blog.  I was so pumped to be a GIU gal, and now I get to share another piece of snark on this blog hop! 

I have a funny little card to share with you that I made for one of my best friend's at work.  He is going to love it.  I call him my work husband, and he calls me his work wife.  

The card is created from a  a really fun kit by Joslyn Nielson called Hey Stud.  Simple stamping, Prismacolor pencils, a whole lot of sass and this card came together like a dream.  Do you have someone in your life that you share a funny, sarcastic bond with?  You should comment below with a story about the friend you can joke around with at work.

Make sure to comment below, then follow the links under here to visit other GIU blogs.

Lori Simonson 
Shannon Edwards (You are here)

Amber Sheaves
Kim Chong 

Angela Bode 
MariLynn DeGroot
Amanda Rhodes 
Paula McClane 
Amanda Garrett  
Crystal O. Minkler