Thursday, November 17, 2016

Artists Collective: #4 - Robert Norman Ross

One of my earliest memories during my childhood was watching Bob Ross as a family with my parents and brother in the evenings on PBS. Bob's calm voice seemed to put me into a trance and with just a few simple strokes, Bob had created a beautiful pieces of work that now are highly valued and sought after by collectors around the world. Bob Ross is probably one of the most influential creators in my artists collective and I still find myself just as entranced and captivated by Bob's creations on the canvas today as I was when I was growing up. Its not hard to see why The Joy of Painting has had such an enduring impact on society. (It still plays on PBS and there are millions of videos on youtube!) Bob Ross is even widely considered the grandfather of ASMR! (Do you get the tingles? Find my favorite ASMR youtubers HERE and HERE.)

One thing I found out while writing this article was that Bob Ross was once compared to Fred Rogers, which in and of itself should be considered a great distinction as Fred Rogers was a saint.

Fun notes! Bob hated his afro hair and the only reason Bob had it permed was to save money on cuts as money was tight.  By the time that the show took off, it was too late to change the hair because the 'fro had become Bob's telltale trademark.

Another wonderful thing about Bob was his calming voice. That's why I was surprised to find that, prior to learning the wet-on-wet technique and the show, Bob had been in the military. (I know, right?!)  He was stationed in Alaska with the Air Force, which is where most of his paintings are inspired from. Bob did what he was told because it was his job, but afterwards he vowed that he would never have to yell or scream again.

Anyways, Bob was so cool - he not only created these quick, beautiful pieces of art; and Bob did it with style and panache.  He learned his wet-on-wet technique from another painter (Bill Alexander) whom he later had a falling out with.  Bill Alexander is famously quoted as saying "He betrayed me. I invented wet-on-wet. I trained him and now he is copying me - what bothers me is not just that he betrayed me, but that he thinks that he can do it better." (Side note: Really, Bill? You 'created' wet-on-wet? I'm sure that those early Flemish painters from the fifteenth century, such as Broederlam and Van Eyck, would simply agree to disagree with you on that...) Bob later dedicated a show at the beginning of Season Two to Bill and held no ill will towards his mentor.

And of course, we love him not only for his beautiful artwork and inspiration, but his dedication to helping animals.

I learned so much from Bob, just by watching the program. I learned to work in layers and to use cool colors farther back to make things look like they are receding (this works for copic markers as well!) Every time I watch the program it inspires me to try new things in my own art, and that's why I think Bob Ross has had such a lasting impact. He is a great inspiration and continues to grow in his popularity, even after his untimely death. Even now, I watch and take notes. He was a wonderful teacher.

“We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” 
― Bob Ross

Leave a comment - what's your favorite episode, painting or quote from Bob?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Perfectly Poised Pineapple

Hello and welcome back! Thanks for popping in again.

It's been a while since I have been able to post, so I thought I would share this little project with you.

The other day, after creating a mess in my studio by spreading out all the paper I own, I paired up a design that was cased from a Close to Your Heart design.  I shared this little project on my Instagram the other day and they turned out so cute I decided to make a blog post about them.

A few weeks ago I attended at craft sale organized North of where I live in Seattle and met some great ladies. One of them was a Close to my Heart vendor from whom I purchased a couple of scrap layouts from for my Hawaii trip from 2015 (yup - still working on it - little by little!)  She was kind enough to slip an idea book into my bag when I wasn't looking.  (If you don't have the Seasonal Expressions May - August 2016 catalog you can download it here.) Flip to page 27!

I love the Calypso line, it's so bright and cheerful. But I have yet to purchase anything from Close to my Heart simply due to the circumstances in my life at the moment. I did however happen to have some choice papers in my stash that I was able to color match and play with!

Anyways, here's my project. I hope you like it.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Making of The Babadook Pop Up Book HD

My boyfriend has an affinity for horror films so when he recently showed me the movie The Babadook, I was interested because I too like a good scary story. I was happily surprised when the story focused on a mother and child and a bedtime story that is definitely NOT for children.
The Babadook is a 2014 Australian-Canadian film in which a woman and her child are tormented by an evil entity.

I recommend seeing this movie (even if you are not a fan of horror) for two reasons: the story, although portrayed as a horror film, is really a story of grief and how one copes and changes as a result of being touched by the death of a loved one.  Also, this film has some great papercraft and paper engineering, as you can see from the above video. I hope you enjoyed this post because this is easily one of my favorite movies now. I hope you get to see this film!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Flamingo Love

Have I mentioned that I love birds? Flamingo's are included! I found this rubber stamp of a cute little flamingo and thought I'd make some simple designs. I've noticed lately that Flamingos are very in vogue re: design right now.

I ended up giving the above greeting card to one of my co-workers who happens to love them too.

And then I found this flamingo rubber stamp at Michael's the other day which really sparked some creativity.l Its from Stampendous and I freaked out when I saw it because I knew it would make an awesome greeting card.

I created a Concertina dry embossed greeting card cut on an angle (also known as a z fold card) and used some scraps to paper piece and layer the flamingo with. The scrap was a pink argyle print I liked but probably would have never used - or so I thought! (ALWAYS save your scraps!) I created depth and interest by stamping him twice and fussy cutting his wing to layer with pop dots. I thought this looked nice with the fold of the card. This is a prototype, so once I get the complete design down, make sure to come back for the final product!

Leave a message below and let me know, what should I create on the z folds?


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Girlfriends Make the Best Accessories

Thanks for joining me once again! I'm so happy you've come back to join me with on my blog. You've come to the right place to find Seattle's finest handmade cards!

Today I've got a real treat for you - a Girlfriends greeting card. This was SUCH a fun card to create. If you have not heard about Art Impressions, then you are missing out!! I love to stamp and color these fun images to create cards that truly reflect the fun relationships in life.

I loved coloring this fun image of two happy gals with my Copics! The card didn't need much else as the copics took the stage. I didn't want to overpower the card, so I kept it nice and clean.

My boyfriend and I are friends with another couple and we paired this card with a bouquet of fresh cut flowers for a nice hello to our friends the last time we all got together. <3 p="">

Its nice to make your friends feel loved and wanted. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tutorial: Marker to Rubber and Masking techniques

Welcome back to the BEST place to find your handmade Seattle greeting cards.

I'm happy to share with you one of my favorite handmade card projects of late. :) I ended up giving this greeting card to my boyfriend. Just this morning he said to me after noticing this blog post up on the computer, "hey, it's my card! That's my favorite card I've ever received." Which kind of made my heart melt, not gonna lie. 

I created this greeting card using the marker to rubber and masking techniques. I created this greeting card with four different stamps. I purchased the couple stamp from Dolce Impressions here in Seattle.

First, I started with planning out the greeting card sketch and layout. I find it easier to start a greeting card with a sketch because it offers inspiration and cohesive style to the project.  I knew that I wanted to create a stamped card featuring ink in layers, not necessarily layers of paper, and this marker to rubber technique, so taking that into consideration I chose my stamps.

Pen to Rubber Technique:
If you're looking for a fast, fun and easy technique to add detailed interest to your project, you should try this fast and fun technique. You can even use multiple marker colors at once.

You Will Need:
plain old water based marker
paper, of course.

For this technique I chose a negative space rubber stamp like this:

 In theory, I suppose you could do this with a positive space rubber stamp just as easily, but I have only ever used a negative space stamp for this technique. (If you end up using this technique with a positive space rubber stamp, please link to this page - I'd love to see your project!!)

Use your water-based marker (I have a set of Pentel water-based markers that I found at Goodwill that are perfect for this!) and outline your image in your chosen colors, just the defining lines.  Huff on said stamp once you are finished (the moisture from your breath will activate any marker ink that has dried, ensuring a nice print) and stamp.

For example, if I wanted to stamp the above star using this technique, I would take my water based-marker and color the outline of the star and inside lines of the star, if desired.


Next to create this design, I repeated the same technique in stamping to impress the first cloud in the upper right hand corner.

Creating a Mask

I wanted to create the illusion of depth and layers with this card.  Using masks in a design helps you to do that, and you can create as many as you would like. This is also a quick and easy technique that doesn't have to be perfect. (Indeed, part of the wonderful things about handmade greeting cards is that they are all a little different.) 

On a blank sheet of scratch paper, stamp your image in the same manner that you would like to mask. I stamped my couple once again and my cloud outline once again, both in just basic black. It doesn't matter if it's a crap print or not, as long as you get the general outline. Cut your images out and now you have a mask.

Position the masks over your previously stamped images on your project, temporarily adhere if desired. Make sure to use as much temp adhesive as you need to get the edges of the mask down as flat as possible to the project. Stamp your image. I used this technique for the clouds for a total of three layers.

For the rest of the card, I used washi tape to tape off the area that I wanted to just have the heart background in. I have not removed my mask of the couple.  I stamped my little hearts, grounded the couple with a hint of grey, and stamped a sentiment on scratch paper and popped it up to complete the design.

I hope you enjoyed this post and get to try these techniques. They are fun, quick and easy - anyone can do them and they really add a lot to your projects.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Artist's Collective #3 - Maeve Brennan

I first heard about Maeve after reading Kate Bolick's Spinster  at the beginning of 2016. (At first I hated this book, but then it grew on me as Kate's story continued, but I digress.) Brennan is one of Kate's Five Awakeners and consequently, one of the people in my Artist Collective. I think that Maeve lived the life that she wanted to live and I think because of that she is a strong female role model.

Suffice it to say, Maeve Brennan was thought-provoking at the least. I've included Maeve in my Artist Collective series because she inspires me to challenge myself artistically. She wrote in one way or another her entire life, even toward the end when she literally had nothing left. There are people who talk about doing something, being a creative and producing work, and then there are the people who actually DO it.  Maeve reminds me that life is short and you need to live your passion because it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

Being born in Dublin, when she was 17 Maeve and her family moved to Washington, DC. After earning her degree in English, Maeve found work as a fashion copywriter for Harper's Bazaar in the '40's.
I guess she had a thing for funky glasses?

Maeve wrote for several magazines including The New Yorker. Then WHAM, BAM, BOOM, she's off to the races and publishing several of her short stories with The New Yorker. Among other articles, her Long-Winded Lady sketches take off, snapshots of everyday life in New York. The 'most reckless, most ambitious, most confused, most comical, the saddest and coldest and most human of cities.' The next thing Maeve knew, she'd been with The New Yorker for more than 30 years.

Although she was a strikingly beautiful picture of style and refinement, I'd like to think that she was admired for her intellect, wit and sense of style more so than her physical beauty. Picture it: a tiny little waif of a woman, too big for her own stature to contain, dressed all in black. Her long, roasted-chestnut mane, wavy, pulled back and secured elegantly, revealing feminine, gentle poignant features. Maeve had a fearsome reputation, a wry sense of humor. She never stayed living in one place for very long, and had many friends.

She was generous with her money, worked and drank in excess, and had a love affair with one man but married another. Working continuously, Meave wrote columns, short stories and is best known for her social commentary in "Talk of the Town" under the pen name The Long-Winded Lady.

Fast forward to the '60's: Maeve is divorced from her husband and she continued writing, but her mental grip started to slip.  Her eccentricities became something else, something disturbing to her family of friends.  Take paranoia, throw that in a blender with a whole lotta alcoholic, a handful of obsessiveness and a dash of homelessness, and we have a tale of tragedy.  

Hospitalization lead to Maeve's housing issue and left her penniless.  Maeve would sleep in the ladies room at The New Yorker.  Her pristine, clean and professional look became, well, things fell apart. Her deterioration continued into the 80's. Maeve was last seen sitting in the lobby of The New Yorker in 1981.

She was admitted to a nursing home and died from heart attack at the age of 76.  Maeve is buried in Queens, NY.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

There are no Mistakes in Art

Welcome back and thanks for stopping by. I'm so happy that you did because I'm looking forward to sharing my Seattle handmade cards and projects with you - seriously, you've come to the best place to find Seattle's BEST handmade greeting cards.

I've been watching a lot of Bob Ross lately, and although not a rubber stamper, Bob has a point: there really are not any mistakes in art. Maybe that's why so many people enjoy creating? Usually you can work something out of an unforseen outcome, and if you're lucky it turns out even better than planned. I feel that as long as you learn from your shortcomings, they are not failures (in life and art).

This is a new stamp that I purchased recently from a good friend of mine who owns an art store here in Seattle. It's a set of a couple in the rain and comes with some other stamps as well.

I used the marker to to rubber technique (I will show you exactly what I did in a later post) and masked the image off after stamping.
After accidentally dropping the rain stamp all over my paper, I decided just to roll with the image as it was (shown above) because I think it, although unintended, ads a layer of interest to the image.

I paired the stamped image with a piece I had created using a monoprinting technique with acrylic paints recently and VOILA!

A fun sentiment image finishes the card.

I enjoyed making this card as it was a lot of fun creating such a diverse piece. There is also quite a bit of texture involved in the card, so that's always a fun element. :) I just love all the texture and depth in this card. I know you and your loved one will love it as well.

Who wouldn't you love to receive this in the mail?
You can purchase my greeting cards here.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Craft Sale!

If you are in the area this weekend, please stop by and support me and the other crafters at this event. It will be super fun and a good time.  Bartering is welcome on my gently, pre-owned items.

See you there!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Washi Tape Feminine Thanks

I love thank yous. They're probably one of my favorite types of handmade cards to create and give because they are so versatile. A thank you can be pretty much anything - thank you for being a friend, thank you for being you, thank you for that thing you did! It's pretty much an easy catch-all choice or excuse to send a nice greeting card to good friend. (Right, like we need more reasons send cute cards!)

I'm sure you will agree that we all would like to save on postage - it can become quite expensive when cards are too layered one is sending multiple cards to multiple people. Not to mention having to make a special trip to the post office! So I kept this design layered to only one piece and created texture, form and interest with washi tape instead. Slap a stamp on it, sign it and throw it in the mailbox and you're done! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Colorful Sushi - I Like the Way You Roll!

Are you a sushi lover??? If you haven't tried it, you're missing out!!

This is a card I made a few months ago featuring a number of techniques including background stamping, Copic coloring, brayering and layering.

A super fun friendship greeting, the inside reads "I like the way you roll."

Leave a comment and let me know what you like about this card!

Artists Collective #2 - BiG eYes

Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane is a fascinating woman. She is an American painter and mixed media artist known for her "big-eyed waifs" that mainly depict women, children and animals. In 2014, Tim Burton (whose Artist Collective segment is forthcoming) directed a film aptly named Big Eyes, which focuses on Margaret's personal journey with art, her marriage to Walter Keane and his subsequent fraud and misrepresentation of Margaret's work (if you have not seen this movie, you MUST!) as well as the aftermath. She's even IN the movie! Margaret has been painting successfully for more than 60 years. In my opinion, Margaret Keane is one of the most prolific and influential artists ever. She is an American icon and a Modern Master. She is 87, paints every day and lives in Northern California.

You can learn more about Margaret here!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Who is in your Artists Collective? #1

When I first read Austen Kleon's "Steal Like an Artist" and then his "Show Your Work" I was astounded at the simplicity of his ideas. If you have not read these books, then as an artist - YOU SHOULD. They are simple little books with big ideas for creatives like you and me.

Moving onto Kate Bolick's "Spinster" which I read recently. At first I did not care for this book at all, however when I completed it, I found that I had rather enjoyed the read and that it got me thinking about my own creative heros in my life.

So I put together a list of my creatives, with photos or snippets when applicable.

Frida Kahlo

Frida is probably one of my favorite artists, not only for her work but for her fascinating life. She was a surrealist (a label that she herself rejected, although her body of work is decidedly surrealist in my opinion) and which is an odd choice for my own tastes as I most definitely do NOT appreciate surrealism.

Frida regarded herself as a folk artist, a feminist and a communist. (Well, nobody's perfect.) She was married to that son-of-a-bitch Diego Rivera. They maintained their tumultuous marriage by "living apart together" and both had many affairs. Frida dressed in the peasant style for Diego, as that is what Diego preferred, and friends often remarked that Frida presented herself as a piece of art.

Who is one of your creative heroes? Leave a comment and let me know!

Stay tuned for the next artists to come!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RCA Victrola Phonograph

Check out my new fancy RCA Victrola Phonograph! It actually WORKS and I just about squealed when I found it.
Top down

Top up


I paid $60.00 for this piece and although it needs a $50.00 needle, it's in good shape and has a fold out speaker on the left. And it means I can listen to my Elvis records! :D And it looks pretty freakin' cool in my home. I was so thrilled with my find and I hope you like it as well!

Vintage Cocktail Earrings!

How many pairs of vintage cocktail earrings does a girl need?

One to go with every outfit!!
I found these screw back vintage earrings in a secondhand store near my house.

I liked this pair because they remind me of snowflakes.

These stood out because they remind me of my grandmother's era, circa 1950's, waterfall dressers, and classy perfume bottles with the little poofs at the end.

This pair I thought would be fun for the holidays, but I haven't had a chance to wear them yet.

Other delectable vintage goods and secondhand pieces can be found at The Furniture Guy!

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