Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Memorial Day Mini Albums

Spent the evening out with the kids over with the Red Barn youths, creating fun fast and fantastic mini albums just in time for Memorial Day. With just a few scrap papers and stickers, chipboard, and staples, we all made interesting little booklets. There was a place for family, a couple that celebrated military careers, and even just some little sketch books.
I've taught this class a few times this month now, but it never ceases to amaze me what my students come up with when they are handed a stack of scraps and a sticker sheet :-)  Thanks to the Two Water's Arts Alliance, who sponsored this Tuesday's CraftWithAnna class.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

More Red Rum, Please

I used to love the thrill of self-induced fear... absorbed in a terrifying good read, I'd sometimes clap the book covers closed and regain control of my breathing, then slowwwwly reopen the frighteningly good novel to once again set my heart racing- much to the amusement of my family! Nowadays, I'm more likely to cause myself a near heart attack reading about the potentially harmful effects of consistently eating dairy products, but if anyone asked, I wouldn't hesitate to reply that my favorite author was, and still is, Stephen King.
The funny thing is, I can't bring myself to read any of his new works-the idea of even trying is in fact too scary! Well, I'll be honest, I can't actually re-read his older books either- too scary (even though I know how they will end)! But, after my mom sent me this adorable photo of her and a bestie all dressed up in matching outfits- oh, wait, that's a cardboard cutout they are standing behind- I realized I could scrapbook something having to do with the Master of the Macabre. And, I could make it scarrrrry!

I thought my page (see photo above) was complete. It had a terrific photo on show, a typewriter and crown as symbols for Stephen King, die cuts that compliment the story of how I got the photo and a clever title -Redrum. My layout felt flat though, despite adding foam adhesive behind a few layers... wood veneer arrows brought a little more dimension, as well as the tiny chipboard date block. Bakers twine ran down a column of patterned paper which brought the focus inward toward the picture. Still, I wasn't quite satisfied with calling it complete.

Despite my grounding bases, there still seemed to be some floating of elements going on down at the bottom. And, even though I had designed the use of space to include a resting area to the right, my eyes felt unsettled as they roamed the page, trying where to decide to look away. Turning to a gigantic amount of unused chipboard I keep "just in case," I found a few rain drops, and, inspired by the scene in which two twin girls stand against a backdrop of cascading blood in The Shining, I painted them bright red!

Dripping down from a chandelier, again, reminiscent from the "remembered" ball room scenes of the movie's main character, Jack Torrence, powerfully played by Jack Nicholson, they are now drops of blood. Ew! right?  Thinking about that unnerving performance, and replaying critically frightening scenes in my mind while creating this one page layout brought out one of my favorite secondary titles to date, "Who needs Johnny?!" (You're number 1 in my book). A little strip of highway looking sticker reminded me of the isolation of the characters during their catastrophic caretaking job with their little boy, Danny.

As much as I adore how the finished version turned out, I still get a little shivery looking at it. Who could have predicted that a few dozen well-written, word packed novels read in my youth could have such a profound effect on my scrapbooking today? Or that, while I've donated my entire collected works by Mr. King, and planned to load them on my Kindle, I just can't seem to get the courage to do so.

Perhaps I have to admit, ever since I've had children of my own, I'm more likely to squeal with delight over a new Fancy Nancy than I was over the release of Stephen King's latest trilogy about "Mr. Mercedes." Perhaps, dear reader, I would have been too frightened to even go into the massive Stanley Hotel, where The Shining was filmed. Perhaps I was only too happy to scrapbook a memory of my mother's than to experience the fear myself... yeah, that's it, I'm sure :-)


Monday, May 2, 2016

Pay it forward

I often tell people that my daughter's have both literally been crafting since the womb... from the cradle of my arms, I nursed Rainie through countless pages made with Close To My Heart's Studio J software. From a seat on my lap as I guided her hands into proper pen holding positions, Rainier has always enjoyed art and rates it as the number one reason she wants to go to school- despite our ability to pretty much spend all day long every day for weeks at a time doing just that without the need to visit a craft store.
Sunday's due date came and went even though I tried my hardest to craft myself into labor! I'll never forget the day she taught herself to stamp with a little wooden block and a scrap of paper on the ground. ..
As the girls have gotten older and their art has manifested into stacks of paper to precious to toss, I realize I may have "created" little craft-a-holics in the making! But, this note I received the other day erased all misgivings about the encouragement they continue to receive to Just Make It!, and made my day completely: