Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspired by...

One of my go-to techniques for slump busting is to use a sketch. I've been a sketch fan since Becky Higgins started her Creating Keepsakes column way back when. I own several sketch idea books, but I'll have to be honest - I like them fresh! I have several sites bookmarked and a number of sketchy blogs on my reader that keep me in hot-off-the-press sketches. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Becky Fleck's Page Maps - probably my all-time favorite. New sketches monthly, along with periodic sketches for cards, tags and assorted non-standard page sizes. I also own and highly recommend her book and I've pre-ordered her next book from Amazon. She has a monthly newsletter and a blog as well.
  • Pencil Lines sketch challenge blog - new sketches every Sunday and a really diverse group of designers who showcase the weekly sketches.
  • Sketchy Thursdays - another weekly sketch challenge blog. I've actually submitted my pages a couple of times and was chosen as a Sketchy Thursday Favorite. Yay me!
  • Got Sketch is by the very talented Valerie Salmon. One of my favorite aspects of her site is the archives locator - it uses # of photos, which is most often how I search for the perfect sketch.
  • Two Peas in a Bucket offers a great free sketch class by Kelly Purkey. I also took her second session Sketchbook class and I'm definitely hoping she offers another. Great sketches + my favorite kit club Design Team doing the examples? Fabulous!
Many of my favorite manufacturers also have occasional sketches on their blogs, so I watch for those as well. Prima comes to mind and Basic Grey's newsletter always has a sketch.

Becky Fleck Page Maps sketch, Studio Calico Continental kit (and adons)

Started out using a Becky Fleck Page Maps sketch, but it doesn't look anything close to the original. Which is one of the beauties of a sketch! Studio Calico Continental kit (and adons)

Another Becky Fleck Page Maps sketch and using up more of Continental (just checked and it is sold out)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inspired by...

Do you ever get in a creative rut? Find your mojo has left the building? What do you do to get out of that funk? Restart your artistic engine, so to speak?

I've had a bit of one over the summer. The kids were insanely busy and I was exhausted just trying to keep my mom-taxi running on time. And dealing with the whole this-is-the-new-normal, I'm-gonna-feel-crappy-often Wegener's bit, I didn't spend a whole lot of time in my creative space. Well, I did, but it consisted of a whole lot of staring at photos, blank pages, wandering around the room...and ordering more yummy scrappy goodies on-line. Retail therapy! Ha!

When Mason started pre-school three weeks ago and I realized I would have a few kid-free hours, I knew I wanted to spend at least a little bit of that time creating. And not laundry mountains, for sure! But I was almost paralyzed as I sat down at my scrap table - for a couple of days, that's all I did! Sat. And thumbed through a few magazines. Pulled out photos...and put them back. Picked some pretty patterned paper and embellies from my stash...and...nothing! Oh, I made a few cards - because they had to be done and I'm great under pressure, but that daily flow of inspiration was just missing.

I knew I needed some intervention and it came in several forms. I pulled out a couple of my fabulous Studio Calico kits and started perusing the Design Team galleries. My plan was to simply lift a few of my favorite layouts - hardly any mojo needed at all for this exercise. Great designs and me using the exact same materials. What could be easier?!

From the delightful (and blessed momma to two adorable girls, soon to be four!) Stephanie Howell. I loved how she used the brackets and die cut paper, with three small photos in a row. Mine is a pretty straight-forward lift, though I used just half the So Sophie paper. And I'm kinda liking journaling on the edge lately.

And the divine Sasha Farina! Her attention to details is amazing. I always have to look...and look again to notice all the little pieces of her layouts. Fabulous! More journaling on the edge for me.

I've been a fan of Stephanie's since I first saw her work! Sadly, she is no longer on SC's design team, but I follow her blog to keep up with her innovative designs. Again, pretty straight-forward lifting. I added a little misting, but definitely kept the machine sewing, especially over the corrugated alphas (they didn't feel like they were going to stay stuck very long...)

And last, but certainly not least, is a lift of the wonderfully talented Maggie Holmes. I loved how she used the entire Hambly rubon sheet on one page. Her photography is divine! And I highly recommend her on-line classes - I've taken both the beginner and the advanced classes and they were wonderful. I rotated my page and didn't have as many bits and pieces, but I love how it turned out.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more things that inspired me!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy sweet 16!

Time is going faster and faster and I'm reminded way too often how little time left at home my older kids have. McKelle is 16 today! She had an insane AP History test this morning and will run XC at one of her least favorite racing spots (think of the effect of tons of dirt, weeds and hay on a girl with asthma and allergies!) this afternoon. I was hoping to get over there, but brother #3 threw up at the bus stop and is home sick. I'm not even sure I'll get to see her for more than a minute on her birthday...

She's gorgeous and smart and talented. And one of my very favorite people in all the world.  Happy Birthday baby girl!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some recent cards

I haven't scrapped as much lately as I would have liked, but I have been making cards. Just a few recent ones:

Loving this color combination lately!

I love all the gorgeous flowers Prima makes, but hardly ever use them in scrapping (too many boys at my house and McKelle would freak over a flowery layout for her!) So, cards it is. This one made it way down south to wish my grandma a very happy birthday earlier this month.

These last five? Made with stuff on my scrap table. I challenged myself to not get out of my seat while I finished the cards. Not sure what that says about me...except that I really need to clean off my table! Lots of random goodies floating around - small pieces of pp, a leftover rubon or two, a cardstock sticker half, a Studio Calico insert. Probably need to do this more often to use up all my little bits and pieces.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I scrapped!

It seems that all the energy I have lately has to be directed to essential tasks - laundry, kid care, meal prep - and there is never much left over for the things I really love. But I've had a little break lately, with Mason starting preschool 3 days a week,  and I finished a few pages. My creative side has been nourished!

Just a little fun with some gesso, Hero Arts stamp, mist and Studio Calico's Continental kit from July.

More playing - just a favorite photo and no journaling whatsoever. Papertrey Ink stamps, Versamark Ink, stickles, some old Heidi Swapp letters that I ran through my Cuttlebug with one of Tim Holtz' texture fades (LOVE these!) Paint, a little piece of transparency, some new BG brads and my sewing machine. 

Absolutely in love with Studio Calico's Elementary line!

A little Jillbean paper and more Studio Calico Elemetary line. Oh, and that fabulous stamp from last month's kit!

Crate Paper's new school line is just lovely. And goes very well with Studio Calico's Elementary. Love it all!