March 31, 2010

PCS ~ Pretty Paper Lanterns

If you've been following along in our Paper Crafters Sampler Lantern Blog hop already, then you've probably come from Lisa Hensley's fabulous blog.

Remember, the blog is designed to go full circle April 1st.  So if you're here a bit early, make sure you check back first thing in the morning to catch all the wonderful projects.

Ten more days till the the April issue of the Paper Crafters Sampler is released.  In keeping in time with our other issue releases, the design team members have created another fabulous blog hop for you.

This month, the PCS theme is "Winged Things".  The timing for this theme (and all PCS themes) was planned well in advance.  With the anticipation of the warmer weather and the renewal of spring, it seemed like the optimum time to create projects related those things that will soon be filling the skies.  Many of the projects offered are obvious (birds and butterflies) and others that will take you by big surprise!

Here's a little sneak peek of my winged project.

In addition to winged images this month, the sampler is offering another EXCLUSIVE "Lantern" template designed for PCS subscribers.  The template is found only in the April Issue of Paper Crafters Sampler.

While the template was designed to work as tabletop decor with a battery operated tea light, you're bound to find several other uses for it.  Take a look at my butterfly house using the lantern and my trusty Butterfly Bigz and sizzlits.

I hope you've enjoyed this little sneak peek of the lantern template.

If you'd like to learn more about the April Issue, you can check out the PCS website.

Now, hop on over to Tiffany Bauer's blog My Crafty World and check out her special lantern treat for you.  Thanks for stopping by!

March 25, 2010

Bloom'n Forget-me-nots

Having fun with watercolor paper and wax watercolor crayons.

Check out the swirls behind the egg on the green cardstock.  That's the "&" sign from the SU! Together Forever set.  That particular piece of cardstock needed a sudtule image since the main background was so busy.  It worked out great.

The egg was cut from 140lb watercolor paper.  Afterwards I applied various green and blues washes with my wax crayons.

HAD to pull out my faithful old Linen background stamp.  I think besides for the Cheescloth background, the Linen is my all-time favorite.  Here it was stamped in Basic Brown ink on both of the Celery cardstock.

March 23, 2010

Bonnet for a Southern hare

"Hello Mrs. Hare.  Is that a new bonnet you're dawn'n?"

"Why yes Ms. Willomenia.  It's brand spanking new.   I spotted it in the window at Mr. Mosbey's store as I was hop'n by.  It caught my eye and I just HAD to have it!"

"Why, it sure does look mighty proper atop your head.  Dare I say, you're gonna be the envy of the warren!

"I declare, that butterfly must not realize those flowers are artificial."  They softly giggle; noses wrinkle and wiggling.

"It sure is mighty becoming.  Mr. Hare can barely keep his eyes off you"

"....or his paws for that mat-uh."

"Why thank you kindly Ms. Willomenia.  I believe I'll wear this to the upcoming Easter egg hunt.  The word is, it'll be a bright and sunny day.  This bonnet will come in handy to keep the sun from my delicate eyes." be continued.

If you'd like to see more Easter Bonnets, be sure to check out the Paper Crafters Sampler.  You'll have to scroll pass the miniature bird houses.

On a more serious note, I went out and purchased this after dropping the kids off at school. 

It was cheap (from Lowes), $6 or so.  The last one I had was mobbed by basketball players and BB guns.  The birds are coming out more often and I have an uncontrollable need to feed them.  I figured they'll pay me back with their singing in the long run.

The problem now is deciding where to hang it.  It's really a finch feeder (although I filled it with standard seed).  They're supposed to be hung so many feet off the ground.  Boy, who would have thought there were bird guidelines for feeders?  I guess the birds like having it high so predators don't get them.

Here are the two trees I must select from to hang the feeder.  This is the oak, visible directly from the living room.  Hanging the feeder here allows me to watch the activity from inside the house.


My second option is here.  It's another oak.  Recently we've had a GAZILLION Tufted Titmouse hanging out in this tree. 

OK, I'm exaggerating.  There are about 20 or so (now), but even THAT is a lot.  Last week (when I was filming my Detailed Silhouette Stamping video), I went to the tree to see what kind of bird was making ruckus (I mean, singing a lovely song).  I saw the titmouse, and then another and when I looked closer, the tree was full of them. There had to be 40 alone.  They were eating the newly developed seedlings in the treetop.  It was a vision in itself.  I filmed it ya know.  The video needs to be edited but I'm not sure of the quality because there was glare on the view finder.   We'll see.

OK.  Enough of this.  I have some craft'n to do.  SO behind! 

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Spring weather.

March 22, 2010

Jar of Stars

Spring is here (despite the temporary cool weather shift).  It'll soon be time for flea market, antiquing and garage sales enthusiast to head out and start making their rounds.

After coming across some great image shares from my blog surf'n Sunday, I had the itch to take a trip to see what's available at my nearest thrift store.

So off I went, not sure what I was looking for, browsing really.  It couldn't have been more than 20 minutes and I was ready to leave, empty handed.  I made one last stop to the fine china display and found this. 

Aren't they lovely????  Tiny, hand-folded miniature stars. You're probably wondering "why buy a jar of stars"?   They were purchased knowing that someone somewhere took the time to sit and fold EACH of these beauties by hand. 

As a crafter and artist, I can certainly appreciate the time and effort it took to create each one of these.  Just look at the scale of these stars! 

So, what will they be used for?  I can assure you; the spouse asked the same questions.  "I don't know, who cares, someone made them and now they're mine.  Really, there are several uses for them, but the most obvious is to use them in my artwork. 

Here's the jar they were stored in.  To think someone sat for hours hand-crafting these just blows me away.  I wonder how much time it took, a few hours, a week, a month?  More than likely it was a teenager who simply outgrew wanting the display in her room (assuming it was a girl).

Wouldn't they look cute in a test tube, tied up with some pretty lace?  They'd look cuter in the heart-shaped jar if it was decorated a bit more (which was my first thought). 

The doily the jar is sitting on was another purchase from the same shop.  Again, the only reason for it's purchase is the fact it was hand-made.  I was never good at crochet, especially using the cotton thread.  Luckily for me, others toss these things out when they get tired of them and I scoop them up when I see them.

This particular doily had butterflies.  I'll take a better photo and share it later.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little thrift store find.  I'm off to work on the April Issue of Paper Crafters Sampler.  It's scheduled to go live on April 10th.  The theme for this month is "Winged Things".  I've created another exclusive template for subscribers.  For our April issue we'll feature a lantern template.  Below is a sneak peek of how I used it to create a butterfly house. 

Be sure to mark your calendars for April 1st.  That's the date of the PCS blog hop where the design team members share their take on the lantern template in the upcoming April issue. 

*Remember, subscribe by the 10th of the month to receive all future issues of the sampler.  You may purchase 'individual' sampler copies on the 11th of the month*

It's used here to create a Butterfly house.

March 19, 2010

Tour de Freaks ~ Spring.......

It's time for another Tour de Freaks blog hop.  Our theme this month is Spring!  If you've already been touring, then you've probably just left Lisa Martz's page.

I have really been in the mood for crafting, as I'm sure many have been now that the warm weather is arriving.  What better way to kick it all off with some great gardening projects.  Take a look at what I've created this month for you.

THIS is my favorite.  What a delightful way to present a gift of Spring bulbs to a friend.  I used some scrim to bundle up some bulbs.  Scrim is a lightweight fabric, very similar to cheesecloth.  During Fall I spotted the bolt at the fabric store.  The delicate, almost fragile threads were beckoning so I HAD to buy a few yards.  This is the first I used it but I have many more crafting ideas for incorporating it in my crafts. 

What makes this appealing (to me) is being able to see through the fabric catching a glimpse of what's inside. 

This project is SO easy.  I would love getting this as a gift.  The satin ribbon and the simple daffodil tag is the only thing needed to dress it up.

I'm not quite finished with my gardening ideas.  Take a look at this bulb box, yet another great way to deliver some spring cheer to a gardening friend.  The box was made with the Bag with Scallop Bigz die.  Yep!  Just turn it on the side and put the base in.  Walla!

Here's a close-up.  Look at the veining on that bulb.  Isn't it beautiful?

I hope you enjoyed my projects this month.  Now it's time to move on to the next featured stamper, Ms. LeeAnn Greff.  Select the image below and you'll be transported to her blog.  Thanks again for checking out my projects. 

March 18, 2010

Detailing Silhouette Stamps ~ Video Tutorial

I've completed my new video tutorial today:  "Detailing Silhouette Stamps" using watercolor pencils.

This tutorial came to life after wanting to use my watercolor pencils that have been shelved for several weeks. The goal was to create something that resembled a true watercolor image, like the two shown below.

What you see is a basic form and outline.  Coloring book stamps were available, but not very appealing. Often the images are to small and contain to much detail.  There isn't much range to move when you have a detailed image. You're basically filling in. What I wanted was an image that offered a basic shape and was large enough to make a big impact.  I could have drawn something myself, but why not use rubberstamps since the image is already drawn?

Here's what I came up with:

Want to learn how to do this yourself?  Just check out my online video below:

Detailing Silhouette Stamps tutorial from Melanie Schulenberg on Vimeo.

March 17, 2010

Serene Spring

Sharing another card created during my 'resting' time this past weekend.  As a big fan of nature sets, this was one of my favorites.  It was offered as a hostess set one year from Stampin' Up!

Iv'e been playing around with colors again.  Being that it's spring, using darker colors can be iffy, but there's enough bright colors on this card that the Soft Suede worked. 

Prisma and watercolor pencils were used for the main images.  The background paper is from the Sweet Pea designer series pack.  The flourish is from Wings of Friendship stamp set, inked with a Curry dye pad.  

Here's a close-up. 

Luckily for you guys, I need to spend the rest of the week in bed (ugh).  How is that lucky?  Well, it means more time for color and sharing. 

Thought I'd also mention that Tour de Freaks is coming this Saturday morning.  The theme this month is EASTER.  Put a reminder on your outlook calendar so you can be sure to catch it.  Everyone always has such lovely ideas to share.  Truly inspiring.  Here's a link in case you missed last month's tour.

Tomorrow I'm going to share a technique on how to jazz up your simple silhouette stamped images.  It includes a short video.  Here's a sneak peek:

See you tomorrow.

March 16, 2010

Fabulous Friends

I have to say, this year started off full of challenges.  One unexpected event after another, mixed with funky weather and no sunshine does little for your creative spirit.

Enter a Spring weekend.  We were lucky enough to be blessed with beautiful sunshine and warm weather.  The spouse spent the day outside with our oldest building a chicken coop.  Yep, we've decided to get chickens.  There are several reasons for doing so, besides for fresh eggs (obviously), but as a learning experience for the kids.

I've always believed it important to give children various experiences to stimulate their senses.  It allows them to grow and learn.  Enter, da chickens.  Everyone is excited about getting them, even the spouse.

Here are a few photos of our progress:

Here's a photo of an old cast iron tub I purchased in the French Quarter (prior to being wed).  It was a steal of a deal; not so much when it was time to move it.  The idea behind purchasing it was to use it for a working water garden.  It used to be where the bricks are lying now for the coop.   We'll just move it for a few more months until we get things settled.  Maybe, after 15 years of toting it from new house to new house I'll finally transform it.

While the family worked on the coop, I remained bound to the bed due to yet another surgery.  It was AGONY!  Not the pain, but the fact I had to stay off my feet.  There are so many things that need to be done during the day; sitting in a bed is not going to get them accomplished.

So, whilst I was laid up I decide to make the most of it.  Broke out a few of my older stamp sets, some Prisma color pencils and my SU! watercolor pencils and just started coloring.  Yesterday I decided to mount it to a full card.  I LOVE these colors! 

Here's a close-up.

Now, I'm off to finish preparing projects for the April edition of the Paper Crafters Sampler.  It's already 11am.  Only 4 more hours before the kids are home and my creative time stops.  Four hours is not a lot of time knowing the things I'd like to accomplish today.

For now, I'll take a short 30 minute lunch outside on the swing in the brilliant sunshine.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I need to enjoy it while it last.

March 14, 2010

The Garden Birdhouse blog hop

The Paper Crafters Sampler design team has another sweet blog hop for you.  They've created some wonderful samples using the large bridhouse template offered in the March issue, "Le Jardin", The Garden.

This template, along with the Adoring Apron template can be found in the March issue of PCS. 

If you've already started on the tour you're probably just come from Lisa Hensley's blog, if not that's OK, this is a good place to start.

Select the button just below and it'll take you to the next blog, Ms. Tiffany Bauer.

March 4, 2010

Le Jardin (The Garden)

Old man winter seems to be taken his sweet time moving out. We've had some of the coldest weather here in the South, nothing compared to those record breaking snow-storms the NE has had. Brrrrrrr.

Now that March has arrived, it's almost time for the next issue of the Paper Crafters Sampler. We've created the prefect theme for this month. Le Jardin, (The Garden).  What better way to get your mind off the frigid weather than to think of the day you can sit outside without 27,000 blankets covering you (a random number I assure you). 

The video below shares images of projects offered in this month's issue, ideas for all gardening lovers (including the birds).

For more details about the sampler, be sure to check out the PCS website.

I'd like to thank all of those who posted a comment to the Adorning Aprons blog hop.  As mentioned, one lucky person will be receiving a free copy to the March Paper Crafters Sampler.

.....and, the winner is:

Stampindragon ~ Cynthia Ferenz

Congratulations Cynthia!!!