Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mixed Media Fun - I'm NOT cold!

One of my favorite things to do is to have morning coffee on the porch sitting in the swing while talking with my husband.  While the morning sun can get to be a bit much once it pops over the tree line each morning, it sure is nice.  I try to extend the "swing season" as long as I can.  "Swing season" currently encompasses "daylight savings time".  So, yeah, as I write this, my swing has just begun hibernation and my outdoor living area is prepped for late fall / early winter.  

It's cold now.  Like 32 degrees cold.  But just three weeks ago, it was 50 degrees in the morning.  And that was a tad chilly.  It's all relative.  Come January, 32 degrees is no longer gonna be "cold".  

So, here I am, sitting on the porch, waiting on my husband.  

What you cannot see is the blanket I've used to wrap my legs.  LOL.  My husband, walking up the sidewalk, got a chuckle.  I'm not cold, I said.  And really, I wasn't - under the housecoat and blanket. 

The background on which the page is built is a mixed media piece featuring a technique called "Drunken Acrylic Reveal".  It uses layers of watered down acrylic paint with drops of alcohol to reveal previous layers.  The effect can be quite dramatic, depending on the colors chosen and the order in which they are applied.  My results were subtle and not at all what I was expecting.  I attribute some of that to the brand of acrylic paints I chose to use - as these just don't mix well water water and the lighter colors tend to be transparent rather than opaque when layered over darker colors.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day!

Monday, November 13, 2017

PL Week 44 (2017)

Another week is in the book!  This happens to be the week of Halloween.  In addition to that, other neat stuff also happened that week.  

A bird's eye view of the week.  Not a single 4 x 6 photo, as I continue to use square photos in place of 4 x 6 landscape orientation photos on my spreads.  I take the majority of my photos with my phone, which means they are mostly in portrait orientation.  However, careful composition of  shots (and this takes practice), oftentimes will yield good square and sometimes even landscape orientation photos from a portrait orientation.

A close up of the left side.  A mix of seasonal and the everyday.  Not many words this week, as the photos and short captions tell the stories.

A close up of the right side.  This is the stuff of everyday life.  Only one story is included, as the photos and short captions continue to tell the story of the week.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day!  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Christmas Card Parade - 2

The week before Halloween, I made Christmas cards.  Yep.  This didn't start with Christmas cards in mind.  It started because I wanted to "get messy" and play with mixed media.  I started with a cool twist on the shaving cream technique and wound up with four cards.  Here is the second card.

Hanging ornaments with a scattering of sequins!  I love the subtle pattern on the red layer and the subtle swirls of red throughout the green background.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christmas Card Parade

The week before Halloween, I made Christmas cards.  Yep.  And as I type this post, I have a PL spread laid out for the week of Halloween.  For some reason, I was so glad to put away the Halloween decorations.  **gasp**  So, while I finish up this PL spread, how about I share some Christmas cards?  

This didn't start with Christmas cards in mind.  It started because I wanted to "get messy" and play with mixed media.  So, off to the mixed media drawer I go.  

Has it been that long?  My gel medium was jelly.  My crackle paste was rock hard.  And the lid on the matte medium would not budge.  The matte medium was salvageable - Dale was able to open the jar!  But not without a colorful phrase!    

Looking for mixed media inspiration, I decide to visit some class materials I had on mixed media projects and learned about a new way to do the shaving cream technique.  I chose a series of green (of course) reinkers (little bottles of liquid ink), grabbed a can of shaving cream (not much in the can and I could have used a shave - but hey - it's crafty time!) and got to work.

Out came several neat unique backgrounds that I made into four unique Christmas cards.  Here is the first one.

Not my original idea, but I thought this was really cute.  An elf.  A headless, arm-less, leg-less elf - but forget that part.  It's still cute!  I was pleased to be able to use so many neat items from my stash!  The doily (there's gold under that collar), the corduroy brads (um, hello!) and the POW glitter paper (the butter of glitter paper).  Plus a sheet of striped designer paper from a past December Daily mini kit.  I don't consider the black cardstock stash, but a staple - gotta have it.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day!

Monday, November 6, 2017

PL Week 43 (2017)

So, daylight savings time "ended" Sunday.  What did I do with my extra hour?  Sleep?  Yeah, boy.  My eyes popped open at what is now 3 AM.  So, I got up, made coffee and worked on Project Life Week 43 (2017).  Check it out.

Just looking at the bird's eye view for a moment, note the mix of photo sizes and the use of black & white photos.  

I take a lot of portrait photos, but this is my go-to style for pocket pages.  While there are some 4 x 6 portrait pocket page configurations, I like to use vertical 3 x 4 cards.  And I really do like using this style pocket page - did I mention that already?  I do try to sprinkle in a different pocket page configuration here and there.  The variety of styles & sizes adds interest to the book and to the individual layouts.  Here I mix 4 x 6, 4 x 4 and 3 x 4 photos.

Black & white photos can be striking!  So, not only are there a mix of photo sizes, there are four black & white photos clustered in a group, surrounded by color!  Why, with all the color, would you use a black & white photo in a project life spread?  Cohesiveness.  Less busy - the crafty "mess" appears much less busy in black & white; I chose to surround that photo with the golden yellow, the same color of the ceramic cat's ball of yarn!  Less than perfect photo - while the color thermostat photo would be OK, it looked much better in black & white, especially with the shadow to the left.  Tell a story - two of these photos were used for a 7 day black & white Facebook photo challenge, with no captions; a good photo, by itself, can tell or spark a story.

Achieving cohesiveness in a multi-photo layout is sometimes a challenge.  Note the repeating elements - stamping with the same stamp set, typing, hearts, washi tape, date stamp.  Sounds like a lot, but in the overall scheme of available options in my craft studio, it's really not.  LOL.  Pick and then repeat.   

Here, I decided to stamp right on the photo, using Memento Tuxedo Black.  And it worked well.  

So, this year's PL album is coming together with the Jade Edition and that roll of washi tape that is almost gone!  It has been sprinkled through out my 2017 book.  

Some supply notes:  All journaling cards are from Becky Higgins Jade Edition.  Stamp set is PTI Wet Paint II.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Canon Selphy VS Epson PictureMate

Happy Birthday to me!  Dale gifted me a new photo printer, an Epson PM400.  I finally found time to set it up one day last week.  I even had a helper.

I really do like this little printer!  I loved my Selphy, too.  I loved it so much I wore it out.  I wasn't sad to see it go.  The print quality was good and it printed fast.  However, Canon Selphy CP900 was not compatible with Windows 10 and did not print true 4 x 6 photos.  I could print wirelessly from my celllphone though and that made me happy!  The lack of true 4 x 6 photos had begun to bug me a little, but I trimmed the photos down to mat them on 4 x 6 white cardstock, creating photos that looked like they printed with a border!  Canon Selphy was a giant step forward for me in printing photos at home - it was quick, easy to use and no issues with wet ink.  It was a very nice printer for the price.  That printer was a birthday present form Dale, way back in October 2013.  He paid $77 for the printer.  So, I had four years of use.  It was a good four years.  

I began to have issues with the Selphy, so I asked for a new printer for my birthday.  This one would be an investment, as it is over twice the price of the Selphy, coming in at $200.  But it comes highly recommended, prints true 4 x 6, prints fast, no dry time, wireless...a little bigger footprint, but still compact.  Selphy required more footprint to print that it did to sit - so it's about equal in footprint overall.  The current home for the PM400 is a nook that's really not useful for anything else - a good place for a top feed printer.

So, how does it compare?

The photos on the left were printed with the Selphy.  The photos on the right were printed with the PictureMate.  PictureMate prints a truer, richer color photo - note the rich skin tone, the true color of the stainless fridge.  Note the vivid orange of the pumpkin and the clear, not muddy, gray / brown of the background.

A side by side comparison shows the differences, but Canon Selphy was a step forward for its time.  The PM has a higher price tag than the Selphy.  I enjoyed my Selphy.  Ready to enjoy more of my PM.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a moo'valous day!

Friday, October 13, 2017

National Farm Day 2017

So, yesterday was National Farm Day 2017.  How about a page featuring one of my favorite farmers?  

I created this page (flipping over page)...hmmm...I didn't sign and date this one.  I pulled this out because I had a friend with a question - what colors go with yellow and white other than black?  Anything, I said.  Green, for sure!   What about teal? she asked.  Yep, I said remembering this page.

These photos were taken back in May 2009, when I was 40.  Wow.  Oh, wait.  I was 39, gonna TURN 40 in five months time.  But I digress.  When I still raised my cattle.  We had moved 2 bulls to Dad's.  One was named SAW - Stow A Way - which I gave to him.  Pretty sure the other was Chief - which I let him borrow.  

The flowers make this a dimensional page.  They were created with a scallop circle punch.  Snip and fold the scallops and pop on a smaller punched circle with a pop dot.  Title was created using Tidy Alpha, an older alpha set from Stampin Up that remains to this day one of my favorites.  The large circle is cut from sparkly designer paper - don't tell Dad I put photos of him on sparkly daisy designer paper.  LOL.  A cluster of photos with varying poses - three similar and one different - creates an impact.

Farming is a hard life.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I grew up on a first generation working dairy farm.  So many stories and so many cool things to witness and experience.  But, truth is I didn't do much farming myself as I was growing up - I bottle fed calves and had to pull tobacco plants and had to strip tobacco tips.  The only good one was bottle feeding calves and I did enjoy the occasional ride on the tobacco setter!  LOL.  So, when I took an interest in raising cattle, Dad was quite excited.  He gave me four calves (two heifers and two bulls, a pair at a time) to start my adventure.  And from that point forward, until he closed the dairy, I purchased his first born calves to bottle feed and raise.  He milked Holstein and bred the heifers to a Black Angus bull for their first calf.  They made a great beef cattle herd that I bred to full stock Black Angus bulls.  I named them and raised them; eventually had a herd of eight cows plus steers and calves and a bull or two.  Now I have chickens.  And Dale has his cattle.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a moo'valous day!