Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer holidays

Hey Crafters,

finally the summer holidays have started. And only two days into the holidays, I already feel like time is running out. We have so many things planned for the summer. I really hope we get some nice weather this year, sunny and warm, but not too hot.

But now I'd like to show you the results of my busy last week of term. My daughters will have a new teacher next year, so we wanted to say thanks to the teachers they had during their first 2 years.

I don't have a teacher stampset, so I had make do with the supplies I have. I used an alphabeth background stamp to stamp with versamark on a red cardbase, for the background. Then I created a black panel, on which I white embossed my stamping and then shadow stamped it again in white pigment ink. That was hardly visible, therefore I traced the lines with a white inktense pencil. Then I embossed the second heart on red cardstock, cut it out and added it to the panel. I created the chalk effect with white ink sponging and stamped a woodgrain background stamp in brown ink on a craft panel. Then I cut out the inside to create a frame and adhered it to my blackboard. Finally I used foam pads to adhere the blackboard onto the card base.




And my girls pained clay flower pots  with bright acrylic paints to create a personal gift. I glued two pot bottom to bottom, creating a kind of tower, to make them more fun, and my mother-in-law got us some pretty flowers for it (she's a florist).



And then, there was another card we needed, for a school friend who had her birthday on the very last day of term. She likes to draw StyleModels, so I created a very simple one layer StyleModel card, coloring the girl with my colored pencils (Faber Castell watercolor and Derwent Inktense). Then I just stamped a birthday sentiment and rounded two corners.




As I don't usually use my colored pencils dry, I am pretty content with the result.


Now I better run, tomorrow is my long office day, which means I have some work do be done today. What a pity, the weather is nice, and I really don't feel like work at all.

Love
Ela

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cats

Hey Crafters,

as promised a few days ago, I'd like to introduce you to my two cats today.

Phoebe is my older cat, about 13 years and we've had her for about 10 years now. She came to us together with Smokey from a local animal shelter, so we don't know much about her early life. But it must have been hard sometimes, she's a fearful thing. When she first moved in, and later when we had to move, she took the change very hard, hiding under the couch for days. She's very jumpy and runs away from all kinds of noises, but she's also curious and will come back soon to check what's going on.

She hates beeing touched on the feet and belly, and will bite if you do so. And she seems to dislike men, which is the reason why she and my ex never trusted each other much. She bit him one too many times, I guess. So she picked me for "her" human from the start, and with me she's such a lovely cuddly darling. When I work at my desk (I work from homeoffice a lot) she likes to sit on my lap, preferrably wrapped in a blanked with me and purrs all day long. On all other occasions, she hates the feeling of beeing trapped or enclosed, so she would never ever sleep under the sheets like Smokey used to do. But she likes to sleep on my belly or right beside me, touching my arm or shoulder.

She and Smokey were never very attached to each other, but after Smokey's death she seemed rather lonely, wanting to be stroked all day, therefore we decided to find another cat.

So, just a few weeks ago, little Nala  moved in to keep Phoebe company. We got her from a family who didn't cope with her liveliness. She is still young, not yet a year old and so small, I constantly want to pick her up and comfort  her. Our vet thinks, she's not going to grow much more. She's also very playful and wild, constantly chasing things - anything. Our fly and spider population has massivly decreased lately.

When she moved in, she hid under the tile stove (I never knew there was anything to hide under there) for a whole day, before I was able to coax her out with some food and close the entrance. Then I talked to her softly and tried to make her come to me and though I never really expected that to  work, it did. She came to me, rubbed her head on my hand and switched on purring. After that the ice was broken and we spent half the night cuddling and exploring the room. By the next morning she'd found a new hiding place, but she wasn't so scared any more and would leave it to play.

We took some time, to introduce her to Phoebe slowly, but they did quite well. Both still spit at each other, if they come to close, but they hardly ever fight. Except when Nala tries to catch Phoebe's tail, Phoebe really doesn't appreciate that.

By now, Nala has pretty much conquered the place, and plays the little devil, breaking thinks, creating a mess, stealing food. But hey, we knew what we gambled for, she's a lively young cat and we love her with all her faults and virtues.


So, that's it for now, no cards today. My girls will be back from their grandparents soon, and then we'll all have visitors in the afternoon, so I really should get some work done now.

Have a great day
Ela

Still doing "stenciled" homework

Hello Crafters,

it's the week-end! Yay! And we have a tight schedule, as usual. Grandparents, school friends, swimming with Dad, my sis-in-law... I don't think I'll have much time for crafting, but:

I already did it! I created two matching Birthday cards, I do hope this is a sign of my returnung Mojo.

The Stenciled class has been over for ages now, but it seems I am not yet done with homework. Still trying to get back in the flow, I created the first card after Kristina's sketch with the Tim Holtz Splatters stencil. I really love that idea, I'll probably make a million different versions of it.




After I created the splatters, I added the die cut sentiment, created a shadow with an alcohol marker and added the same die cut on top, because I stained the first layer with the marker. Then I added glossy accents to the sentiment, just because it's new and I wanted to try it out.
I sponged the card base, added the panel with foam squares and sponged a splotch on the envelop and the inside of the card.


For the second card, I kind of stayed with the same color concept, adding soft pool and soft granite ink to the three original colors.

I took the idea from Jaquie  and greated a bokeh effect, sponging different sized, overlapping circles. Then I inlaid the sentiment die cut and added sequins from the dollar store (actually the euro store) in matching colors. This time I left only a very slim colored boarder and sponged the flap of the envelop. 




That's it for today, I hope you have a relaxed and creative week-end
Ela

Challenges:
Creative Friday: Ohne Motiv
Simon says Spots and Dots

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Lazy me

Hey crafters,

I  hope you're all fine.

I've been such a lazy blogger lately, and, probably even worse: A lazy crafter too. Somehow there was once again just to much life in my life, it drained my crafty mojo.

It's been a busy time since easter, and sad too. My poor old cat Smokey died from cancer just after the easter holidays, which was very hard on all of us. For my girls it was the first pet they ever lost, we all miss her a lot.

I actually hadn't planned to get a new cat right away, I felt like that would be the wrong message to the kids. You can't replace one living being with another.
But it turned out that our surviving cat Phoebe seemed to be quite lonely. She and Smokey were never very close, but after Smokey's death Phoebe became very attached. So in the end, we went looking for another cat to keep her company.

So Nala moved in, she is a tricolor, about a year old and she conquered our hearts in a flash. She is very playful and keeps chasing things all day, no matter what it is. Cat's toys, kid's toys, hair ties, fingers, pens, flies, anything. But she's also very cuddly and likes humans, cats and dogs alike.

I guess I'll post a picture of our cats these days and introduce them a little more.

So, the cats kept us quite busy for a while, with vet appointments, looking for Nala and introducing her to Phoebe (which worked surprisingly well). Then my daughter's birthday came up, with a big party and many guests. As I had predicted, I was glad I had prepared so much in early spring already. And now summer is upon us, with holidays staring on the 28th. We're so looking forward to them.

 Well, enough family news.I wanted to get back with some crafting and felt that I needed something to get me back going. And I remembered that my friend's daughter would start school after the holidays, so I really needed a card for that.

I already had created one for the girl, because she was actually meant to start school last year, but at the last moment it was decided, that she'd wait another year, so I used that card for another girl. Which meant that I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I thought that would be a great start.
It wasn't, it was an epic fail. I had planned on a chalkboard effect, with white stamping and embossing, but my embossing power completely failed to stick to the ink, my white ink was stamping splotchy with the alphabet set I wanted to use and in the end I dumped it all and ordered a new Versamark inkpad, new Ranger superfine white embossing powder and a few other things out of frustration. That done, I created an entirely different card, not even suitable for a school starter, but at least something.

I took the idea from Lindsay and created a pretty similar card, with melted crayons (butterfly) and water color (background). But I think I'll have to work on that technique, I am not entirely happy with my result, even though in real life the butterfly looks better because it's not so neon:




By the way, the sentiment was added after I received my order with the new supplies.

 Now I'm off to pick up my kids from school, hope you have a lovely day.

Ela