Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mason Jar Madam

Inspired by Friendships
The world has gone mad for Mason Jars the last couple of years and its easy to understand why. In this fast paced and ever advancing technological age, we appreciate the simple symbols of captured space that we've grown up with.
Click on my Pinterest link to the right and then click on the search field. You'll see countless and duplicable ways to use those versatile wonders.
  • Home Décor - seashells and sand, die cut paper flowers or butterflies, wine corks
  • Dry Storage - detergent, beans, pasta, soup mixes, cereal
  • Wet Storage - tea brewer, portable drinking glass, food preservation
With so many ideas, how can you incorporate the Mason Jar image itself into your next project? Think of the practical and whimsical applications and search your supplies for matches. With a little masking, my jars below were easily filled with stamped hearts! Leave a comment below with some of your ideas.
Filled with Fun - and LOVE!
This weekend I was fortunate enough to get four opportunities to create. Saturday after work I headed to Michael's to shop for and prep July's class samples. Oh darn, a reason to shop! Did you see last week's video from a shopping trip I took this April? So many sale items are available, but I had a good list to work off and got right to work with a custom home décor piece and TIm Holz mixed media clock.
Later in the day I enjoyed a beautiful view of Lake Nahwatzel, in Shelton. A good friend hosted me overnight in her grandparent's cabin. She always lets me bring plenty to craft with and oohs and ahs when prompted :-)  Early Sunday morning I was up working on these cards and sent a quick pic home to check in with Ray. It's awesome to have a respite from mom-ming.
Included in my overnight kit was a package of watercolor and my acrylic block. I also brought and stamped with Momento black ink for the first time. It may have been my photo-type paper, but I didn't find the ink to be as steadfast as I expected it. I love how the watercolor added such vibrant pops of color, but also subtly highlighted the jar lids on the first card.
 While stamping with the paint was possible, its not advisable if you want a crisp image. A while back I watch Kristina Warner and Jennifer McGuire stamp a text image and then paint over the top of it, and that's what I did on the "Save the Date" lable. This is a technique I'll be repeating!
After a quick dip in the lake and an even shorter search for my glasses that flew off my face when I jumped in without thinking last year, I was in the car jamming back to Gig Harbor for an afternoon class with an eager student named Laura. Together we explored the intuitive Cricut Expression. I was so proud of the card she created, I'm thinking of adding a "student gallery" tab up above! This would be a place I could show off what my fabulous students are producing under my guidance.
So where are your mason jars hiding? Think how cute a handful of fresh cut flowers out on the patio would be, inside the sturdy glass container. Thanks for checking in and don't forget to comment on how you're gettin' crafty!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Michael's Haul and Projects!

I'm really excited today to be posting my latest video, a Michael's shopping trip and what I've made with the stuff I've bought!

I love working at Michael's in Gig Harbor, the store is so clean and bright and the scrapbooking section is close to the front of the store so I can still see outside. This really helps because otherwise time disappears when I'm in there lol. It's almost like the casino, except, well I never leave with more money than I came with...
There are a lot of good sales usually and then my employee discount boosts my percentage off as well. It's hard not to find SOMETHING to take home! I find that shopping from a sales rack almost guarantees my products will coordinate, too. So that's a great tip for a shopping trip :-)
Coming home with the intention of sharing what I had bought and then building a kit was so exciting! It took a little longer than I expected for my video to get made, mostly because of getting my cards in the store and then just my usual scrapbooking and teaching schedule (You know, whenever possible).
Looking back through the finished projects, I realized I must have got an additional sticker sheet, or maybe I already had one from the same DCWV Vintage collection. I also used a lot from Basic Grey, one of the 4x6 Journalling card pads.
I hope you enjoyed this shopping trip! I love to read your comments and am grateful for my followers. What do you find yourself bringing home from Michael's? Let me know if you need suggestions, and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fathers Day Gift-Cards

Traditional gifts for dad this year in the form of a shirt from me and another shirt with tie from Rainier :-) in the form of handcrafted paper cards, of course! I saw this idea while surfing the web (working) last Saturday. We made them Sunday morning and I think that helped them look so crisp and fresh.
My card is on the left and used a six by six My Minds Eye sheet as the shirt base. Its a subtle dark grey pinstripe which paired beautifully with these dark greybuttons from an Sei album kit. There was no + sign in the glitter thickers, but a couple snips later it is barely noticeably pieced together.
Rainier has been using scissors since a very young age and I'm so proud to see her advanced skills in how closely she followed the outline of the tie on her card. I drew a line around the outside, which she cut around, then she cut closer to the line again, and finally, cut the line off. On the inside of the card (which she makes first for some reason, and I always leave for the end), she stamped DAD and drew her sister's name as well as her own, and some other...sentiments.
Dad loved his card and we love dad!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Faux Copic Marker Coloring

Today is my younger brother's birthday, and I'm sharing with you the techniques I used to make this adorable card for him. DIeCutCrazy has added some new contributors, and one of my new peeps, Deepti, recently shared a card made with a little monster. I had to grab an old set from CloseToMyHeart that NEVER gets used. Now, I'm in love! 
My little brother is a lot bigger than me, now. I laugh a little whenever we are introducing each other, becuase he literally towers over my 5'3" short self. But to me, he'll always be little, and he'll always be the monster that irritated me to no end as a teenager. Fortunately, I now realize there isn't anything that doesn't irritate a teenager, and I've learned to respect him and admire the man he's grown to be the last decade.
For my first technique, let me tell you how I gave my little monster such depth. I've been watching a lot of copic marker coloring tutorials, (even though I don't have any!) and decided to try my colored pencils at creating a similar 3D color look. Start by stamping your image in a light color. With your lightest color desired, lightly color in the entire image where applicable. For me, this was the light pink body of my space buddy. Now, grab a watercolor pen and, with small circular strokes, blend the color until it looks smooth.
Next you'll want to go for your darker colors. I chose to go for the darkest shading color of the dark purple in the creases and shadowy places. Again, blend with the watercolor pencil. Then fill in and blend with your mid tones, repeat until your are pleased with how it looks. Accent areas can be colored and blended with less color applications if you desire. I guess it depends on the sharpness of your pencils, or how many colors you have!
My brother is such an amazing guy. He can find the silver lining in any situation, he's a terrific friend and coworker, is always willing to lend a hand when he can, is a terrifically loving uncle, and in our house, is known as "the perfect movie date EVER," much to my honey's chagrin.
 For an out of this world effect in the background, I stamped stars with clear versamark ink, then heat embossed them with clear powder before painting over with some regular blue crayola watercolor paint. To acheive a constellation effect, I sprinkled salt on the wet paint! Once dry, I just brushed it off. Try layering a dab or two of another paint color over the salt for a really cool spacey look.
As I mentioned before, my brother's influence on me has taken on nicer significance the older we get. He taught me to share, how to recognize when winning is more important to another, and how to fart on command. Well, I never really got the hang of the last one... But who would I have been able to take out my teenage angst on? Who would I have screamed, "Get out of my ROOM!" at all those times, my parents? yeah right. 
On the other hand, who would have accompanied me on all those unapproved drives to go swimming with my friends, who would have lived with me for years (and never asked me to clean my room),  who would have taught me that family can be friends too? I remember vividly the day we brought him home from the hospital. In retrospect, my life changed for the better, and our household dynamic was made even stronger. 
To make your image really pop after all the color treatments, stamp over the image again with a darker ink, or for a more subtle look, use the light color you started with. Clear stamps make this really easy to do, but you can use a stamp-a-ma-jig or other stamp positioner too.  I even colored in the speech bubble and the monster's eyes with a white pen to make them extra bright, then went back with my colored pencil to darken the pupils.
On the back panel of purple paper, I stamped a repeated  calendar image. Then I overlapped that back panel and the card with a die cut star, to bring the layers together. My cropodile punched out the little circles from a multi-colored polka dot print by SEI. Here's a tip: apply little dots of glue where you want your small dots to go, and you won't end up with glue all over your hands. Or at least not as much glue :-) You can put all the glue down at once like I did, but I recommend doing it one dot at a time if you're a little more fastidious. 
My brother is really one of my best friends, and my life would be seriously lacking if I didn't have him around to bring a smile to our faces on a regular basis. A simple Happy Birthday stamp on the inside doesn't express that, but my happy little monster can hint at what a delight he is to have around, as he is pretty smile-inducing too. I hope you enjoyed some of the techniques I shared today, and feel inspired to try them yourself!
Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Back in the Backyard -Crafting!

Little Photo Sesh Outside the Library
Once the weather in Western Washington decides to get summery, it is so hard to stay indoors. Even going to the library is a reluctant venture, because we just love getting all that delicious vitamin D!
Oh yeah, this is the Life!
A crafty gal like me won't let the call of the great outdoors get in the way of creating every day, so I just move outside to the backyard :-) Rainier has gotten pretty mobile with her supplies as well and its a real joy to be whipping up projects in a creative frenzy together.
Here's a chance for you to craft with me,
Congrats, Grads! #PHSalumni
I had such a great time creating that elegant looking card with common junk drawer paraphenilia. If you've got the inclination, a search on instagram (see my social media icons to the right) for #DCCrestlye will bring you some interesting imagery.
Graduation is just around the corner for many... think back on how you might have felt at a similiar time of accomplishment in your life, and channel that energy into a thoughtful, handmade gesture for someone.
If you're looking for some new or inspiring ways to use your die- cuts, check out the latest edition of DieCutCrazy, a digital source of delight!
I hope you enjoyed my video, and go rummaging about for your own  re purposeful items-
Get Crafty!

PS It has been some time since I was able to put up a movie on YouTube...hit that subscribe button and you'll see my latest uploads upon sign in :-) Suscribe to this blog and follow along on all my (published) CraftWithAnna-dventures!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Six by Six Series: Episode Two

I'm back today sharing some more from my Six by Six series, all about how to use those awesome miniature versions of our favorite paper collections.
A simple square torn right from the pad makes a great background- as long as your photo is smaller than 4x6... but this idea can be easily interpreted and used for a piece of paper that is about 8x8 inches.
 I have a lot of these because I'm a paper hoarder and often times will cut the back out of my scrapbook pages. What I mean is, that when I'm only using a sheet as the very background layer and the middle will be covered, I just cut that part out. I generally cut in about two or three inches all the way around from my 12 inch sized patterns, leaving me with about a 9x9 or 8x8 square to use on another project.
I'm bad! I even do it for really small pieces of paper. There is something about a beautiful print that gets to my paper cutting heart :-) So what then do I do with those tiny scraps of paper? Well, I've been known on (only) one occasion to go through them all and donate them, but I love to incorporate them somehow.
What I've been doing a lot lately is using them in little border clusters.  A couple strips of paper from the same 6x6 paper pad can help to balance the page, and of course the colors go effortlessly together.
See how I layered a couple pieces behind the top of the green photo mat, as well as under the title block?Check out the bottom left and top right hand corners of this page. This is a fun and funky way to bring some color to the corners of your pages and help the eye travel around.
For more funk, add in a sheet with similar colors from an entirely different collection. You can't tell, but this soft pink on cream is actually from Christmas collection!
If you are having trouble matching cream and white colors together, a simple swipe of ink on the edges will make it easier for the colors to blend together. The ink works really well at distracting the eye from "clashing" colors. Try it on an outfit soon!

I'm off to the library to upload a new video, creating a special card for the grad in your life with items from around the house. So come back and check it out!
I hope you're enjoying this series- I'd love to get your feedback through a comment! & Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Stamping Technique

Hi there stampers! My apologies if you stopped by here before and there was no text for this awesome new stamping technique, but let me tell you , it is super easy and the effect is awesome!
Simply lay a piece of washi or painter's tape across the paper you plan to stamp on. I used a couple sizes of flower stamps, but was thinking this could be really cute with some stars or firework-like shapes for the fourth of July coming up.
Randomly stamp around and over the top of the tape with an ink that dries fast, or thoroughly heat set your pigment ink. Carefully peel off the tape and you have a cool blank stripe going through your design!
The example I watched on YouTube was stamped with black ink on black paper. Hmm, you're right, it just barely shows. But, it shows enough that you could trace over the top with your colored pencils of choice for a really sketchy look. I decided to use dark red ink on purple paper for a more feminine look. I still filled in the flowers with watercolor pencils and I love the vibrancy of the color.
Embossing Powder shows off your Sentiment
A simple sentiment stamp down the center, embossed with either clear or otherwise colored embossing powder brings a bit more sparkle to the card. It would have been cute to add some tiny sparkles as well, either to the centers of the little flowers or even surrounding them in some of the emptier looking spaces. 
 For a little drama, and to help hide the fact that as usual, I miscut my paper and it doesn't line up perfectly with my card base, I added my rhinestones to the bottom right corner of the card, overlapping the focal piece and the background.
Now, go back with a ruler and run your colored pencil along the edge of the masked area to finish it off. Pretty, AND Awesome!