December 31, 2011

To a Happy and Healthy 2012!

New Years Eve....wow....every time this year I wonder, "Where did the year go?"  Time goes by so quickly.  My Mother assures me that it continues to speed up as you age....great, something to look forward to in life.  Or better yet, something to plan for by taking the time now to slow down, enjoy life and engage in every moment. 

For me in 2012 this will mean taking time to craft more, for myself; to make all of those projects that Ive been wanting to make but just didn't have time time.  This year I'll make the time because making a project for my home gives me great joy, no other reason necessary really.  How will you make the time to do what brings you Joy?  Make it your resolution to make time for JOY in life because from joy very dream can come true. 

Before 2011 comes to a close I need to pick a winner from the 12 Artful Days of Christmas posts.  I loved reading the encouraging and always kind comments from the 12 daily posts. such good therapy! 

And the winner is........Deborah Makowski!   Thanks Deborah for your comments to each post, I loved reading them.  Deborah will receive a kit to make the 12 Tiny Tags!!  Hope she reads this post to know she's won!

Happy New Year to All! 

 

December 28, 2011

A 'dreamy" New Year

As card making goes it's that time of year to create a few Happy New Year cards.  I try not to make the front all about 'hapy new year" and all.  Maybe, just maybe, the recipient will love the card and want to keep it displayed a while (what every card maker hopes for anyway...); no need to limit that with a specific holiday phrase on the front.  Hence the "dream" stamp used on this card; more like "may your dreams come true in 2012". 

The image is a napkin with a page of book text behind it.  I love the faint way it shows through the napkin.  Decorative napkins and old book pages...who knew it could all make art?  I used the same technique on the Artful Tags kits that was for sale (they've since sold out, thanks to all who bought them)  As usual, texture and shape are added with the use of embossing plates and Spellbinders die cuts; could hardly craft without them anymore. 

When I need a couple cards in a hurry I try to design one card and make a few more assembly style; saves lots of time. 

Happy New Year!

December 23, 2011

Day 12: Tiny Tags

Day 12 of the 12 Artful Days of Christmas is here!  It's Tiny Tags!  I do love tags, large or small.  These tiny tags are especially fun to work with as they are little gems; each one a piece of art. 

I cannot believe how much fun this has been and how quickly the time has flown by.  I will continue to share the remaining projects I have after Christmas so stay tuned to the blog. 

The tiny tags were cut from the Tim Holtz die cut called "Tiny Tabs and Tags".  There are so many supplies used here, I could never list them all.  It was a fantastically fun project to use lots of my favorite stash supplies!





I may change up the background, but it'll have to wait until after the Holidays are behind us. I do like the tone on tone look of the ivory and white....but the white is a bit stark. What do you think?

Well, I'm excited and a bit sad that the 12 Artful days of Christmas are over. Ill do a drawing on New Years Eve for a special gift from the all of the posts days 1 through 12.

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and New Year spent with people and activities that renew your spirit and bring you joy. To a happy and healthy 2012.

December 22, 2011

Day 11: "Believe" in Altered Art

Day 11 brings us a bit of "Believe" in Altered Art  home decor.  I love to shop the after holiday sales when items are slashed up to 90% off.  I love a good deal!  I picked up a couple things last year and have been meaning to alter them in some way.  From the Hallmark store I purchased a wooden 5 tea light holder and 5 red glass votive glasses for less than $10. 

It started out like this; you can see one of the red glass cups in the (very messy) background:
And after a covering of paper, metal trim from the 7 Gypsies, velvet ribbon and a Believe ornament ( bought this year at 70% off!) it looks like this:

And it matches this:

For me art really allows me an opportunity to enjoy the Holiday in a whole different way.  When I create a piece of art for my home it gives me joy each time I see it, pass by it or dust around it (ahhhh, the reality of house cleaning ;p)

I hope you are finding some time this season to create the art that brings you Joy!  Enjoy and Be Inspired!

December 21, 2011

Day 10: Make It Merry



Day 10 brings a "Make It Merry" card with a bit of country cozy home appeal.  It uses Wendy Vecchi's Studio 490 stamps and a fun twist on the red and green color combo. 




Only 2 more days left and I have more projects than that to share.  Next year I'll have to start earlier and post the 25 Artful Days of Christmas!  I hope you are having a much fun at this as I am.  Enjoy and Be Inspired!

December 20, 2011

Day 9: Doily Love

Day 9 brings us to another of my favorite craft items: the Doily.  From the craft store, party supply store or a die cut shape of which there are many.  They are lacy and old fashioned and add just a bit of vintage charm on a card. This card also has stitching, an old book page, embossed kraft paper, velvet punched holly leaves and red glittered pearls for berries; one of my all time favorite cards. 

May we proclaim Joy To The World this Holiday Season and Always.  Peace to you and yours. 

December 19, 2011

Day 8: Gift Cards Galore

Day 8 brings us to Gift Cards.   This is a gift card holder that has 2 pockets, one for the gift card and one for a personal note.  It's a fun way to package a simple gift card in a way that makes it more personalized.


These gift card holders are super easy to customize with the variety of rubber stamp images and papers available.  For example a Starbucks card could have coffee bean paper and themed rubber stamps images.  Enjoy and Be Inspired!


December 18, 2011

Day 7: JOY Banners

Day 7 brings us joyful banners proclaiming JOY!  Today was a joyous day filled with friends, crafting, food and theater.  That IS what Christmas Spirit is all about; being with people who fill your heart with joy! 

The JOY banners were so much fun to create.  Each of us chose papers unique to our style and it is amazing to see how beautiful they all turned out.  Simple construction with the help of Spellbinders die cuts, paper and some sparkle.  Have I mentioned that EVERYTHING is better with glitter?? 





3 friends + some paper and glue = hours of fun and good memories!  May your season be filled with JOY!  Be Inspired!

December 17, 2011

Day 6: 3 Sparkly Chicks

Day 6 brings us 3 Sparkly Chicks!  They are as cute as can be all glittered up and ready to party!  This is more of a 'clean and simple' design, not always my style but it worked for this fun card.  It's going to a friend who will laugh out loud at the hats, I'm sure.

 I'd have to say one of the most fun things about making handmade cards is to customize each one for the recipient.  Searching through my papers, stamps and embellishments to find the perfect combination is creative therapy at its best. 




What's your favorite part of paper crafting?   We are half way through the "12 Artful Days of Christmas".  I hope its been as much fun for you so far as it has for me.  Enjoy and Be Inspired!

December 16, 2011

Day 5: 3 Sisters

Day 5 and we're going on a trip down memory lane.  This card has a picture me with my 2 older sisters from sometime in the early 70's.  The coats crack me up...and the pants!!!; I imagine they were in style back then?  I'm on the far left in the red coat.  I imagine one sister will crack up over this and the other will roll her eyes and groan.  Some things never change......

It's a great example of being inspired by a photo.  I used papers that closely matched the coats; isn't it amazing that I HAD papers that closely matched the coats??  I know....crazy.....and proof that I need lots of papers cuz you never know what you'll need for a project ;p

Construction is simple, the papers were embossed with an embossing folder to add more texture. 

What old photos do you have in an album that can become an inspiration?


Enjoy and Be Inspired!

December 15, 2011

Day 4: Vintage Tag Card

Day 4 brings us to one of my favorite kinds of cards.  I LOVE-LOVE making TAG cards!  A regular ol' shipping tag is a fabulous little canvas for creating art. Tags will appear in an upcoming day as well in a home decor project that is almost finished.  This card is super simple to create and has lots of vintage appeal while still remaining flat, meaning it's easy to mail with no extra postage or packing.  The 'buttons' are paper from a Sizzix die tied with a bit of red/white bakers twine.  The snowflake is 2 punched shapes layered and coated with Martha Stewart's Crystal Fine Glitter; love the look!  Everything is better with glitter...or so I've heard ;p

Tag cards: "It' s a Good Thing"

  
I've got lots more to share, there are still 8 days remaining in the 12 Artful Days of Christmas.  I'm realizing I need to time the posts so that folks don't see their card on the blog before it arrives in the mail!  I hope you are inspired to create something fun.  Enjoy!

December 14, 2011

Day 3: Take your Penguin for a Spin!

It's Day 3 and I'm ready for a fun card; how about you?  This card is almost too cute to send.  I made 2 of them; one for my niece and nephew and one for my dear friend who loves the 'gwins".  It's a spinning penguin all frosty and cute.  I used a Tim Holtz Metal Game Spinner to allow the lil' guy to spin around.  Some white glitter makes him frosty white. 

I'm guessing it'll bring some fun to all the recipients.  I know I took him for a spin a time or two...check out the movie ;p


video

December 13, 2011

Day 2: A Banner year!

Day 2 brings a "Merry Christmas" Banner made for a dear colleague.  It was a special request, custom colors project.  It is truly art from the heart; made with love for a sweet person with a kind soul.  It uses the Tim Holtz "Artful Dwellings" die; how perfect!  Each 'house' is embellished with fancy trim, punched shapes and glittered letters.  There is even a clock tower house and Santa's key!  It was truly a fantastically fun project to make and once the Holidays settle down I may just make one for myself.   Sometimes it is AFTER Christmas is over that I can relax and enjoy some crafting time for 'christmas projects'; the best part is pulling them out the following year as something new!





Enjoy and Be Inspired!

December 12, 2011

The 12 Artful Days of Christmas!

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner?!?  I can't!  I mean I'm almost ready, but nooottttt quite.  I thought in an effort to share some Crafty Goodness and Holiday Fun I'd share my current projects with you over the next 12 days...as I work on them right up until Christmas ;p
This first card is one made for my Mom and Dad.  Its rich velvety papers, gold German Scrap and glitter remind me of the lovely tree my Mom has all festooned with Victorian ornaments, lace and sparkle.  The photo does not do it justice, the texture and lushness are beautiful in person.  I must ask around the blog world to see how folks take such great pictures of artwork.





On a paper crafting note, you can make any punch/die cut shape 3D by using multiples of them.  Fold each one in half and attach them together end to end to create the 3D shape.

Stay tuned over the next 12 days for daily projects.  Feel free to post a comment and follow along.  I think it will be fun to have a drawing from all posted comments on Christmas Day for a special gift. 

November 16, 2011

Artful Tags Kit

*********Artful Tags Kit*********

just $20 (free shipping!)

This gorgeous tag set is easier than it looks. You'll only need a glue stick and double stick tape to get crafting.


 Send these tags as unique Tag Christmas Cards or decorate plain gift bags instead of wrapping paper. Hang them on your tree, from a wreath or set on a window sill to beautify your Holiday Season.


These Artful Tags utilize book papers, punches, trim, stamping and a surprise item to create the hand painted look.  They are so easy you'll want to create your own designs from your supply stash.

**Email me to place your Artful Tags Kit order**  

I have a few more kits left of the
5 Holiday Card and Snowflake Gift Tag set,
just $20 with free shipping. 



I love the Holiday Season and look forward to filling my home with lovely decorations.  I'm working on 2 new kits; a Vintage Tag Wall Hanging and a Holiday Banner kit.  I cant wait to share them with you...stay tuned.

 





November 7, 2011

Holiday Card & Gift tag Kit



 Now that Halloween is over, the "Holiday Season" has officially begun! I've created a  Holiday Card &Tag Kit  to make card crafting fun and easy. This kit consists of 5 cards and 4 coordinating tags.
 
One Thanksgiving card; so you don't forget to send them out in the bustle of Christmas preparations.  I've chosen soft blues and browns, die cut leaves and a "Gratitude" theme for the Fall season.

Four Holiday cards with coordinating Snowflake gift tags. The cards incorporate a variety of colors and have sayings like "Peace", "Let is Snow, "Make the Season Bright", and "Joy" so they can be used to celebrate a variety of Holidays and Winter Birthdays.

 It's not all about red and green anymore, there is Blue and White, Pink and Green and a vintage Kraft cardstock. There are punched and die cut shapes, textures, ribbon, a 3-D folded snowflake and stamped images. Full instructions included. A paper crafters dream!
 
The kit is just $20, shipping is free
Email me at artfulhands@gmail.com with your order. 





Stay tuned for even more Holiday Project kits!


October 29, 2011

Thankful Banner

I've always loved the Fall season. This is an old chipboard set from Stampin' Up that I've finally gotten around to making. Its embellished with tons of goodies; ribbons, metal tags, beaded chipboard, crocheted flowers......and the paper is a K and Company small pad.




 The swirly design behind the letters is a Hambly Screen Print in a ivory pattern.  LOVE those plastic papers! The leaf shapes are chipboard that came with the set.  They were painted ivory and then covered with orange TINY glass beads and silver beads.  The tiny maple leaf on the H has the word "together" on it.
 The flower is an older collection of Tim Holtz.  The 'LOVE' button is a 7 Gypsies (luv those gals!) as is the gaffer's tape that looks like blue lace.  And the tiny crocheted flower is new from Prima, do they rock or what?  Here at the Kropp Home we adore the squirrels and so they adorn our banner as well. 
 The owl is such a cutie pie, a punch set from Stampin' Up.  It was pure luck that I made the punched paper beneath it look like 'feathers', I didn't catch that until later. 
 And a nod to Tim Holtz again with the Cherish Tag attached to a swirly clip.  The beads on the leaves look so much prettier in person.
There is nothing quite like completing a craft project and then displaying it in my home.  Each time I see it I am drawn to it, to look closer at it...and I made it mind you, but the allure of the handmade craft forever fascinates me.  I hope you are finding time this season to enjoy some crafting time and the enjoyment it brings. 

P.S.....still working on Holiday card kits..should not be too much longer.  Oh to find more hours in a day to devote to crafting......

October 18, 2011

Butterfly beauty

Well, time flies!  Ive been working on Holiday cards, Birthday cards, a few commissioned cards and specialty projects.  Plus , I took a couple of days off and went to Art is You.....Oh. My. God.....!  What a spectacular event this was.  For those of you who remember the good ol' days of the Art Continuum Cleveland, its like that in Ct.  Ill post my project pics from that in another post.  Suffice to say, Ill be back next year!

Today's post in a card I made upon request to welcome a new staff member at work.  She is groovy and spunky and I made the card to match! 

I'm still working on Holiday card kits......more to come.  Enjoy!

September 18, 2011

A great yard sale find!

So, you know how you find something great when you're not looking and sometimes don't even know you're in need of something new?  That happened to me today.  Will and I were out walking in our neighborhood and we passed a yard sale.  Well, we didn't actually pass it cuz I said, "STOP!, Let's look at what they have!"  We poked around a little and Will found a box of old Kodak cameras.  Next to it on the ground were some boxes and when I opened them to see what they were I found these really cool old filters.  They were used on a camera like this:




I immediately thought they would make great pictures frames!  I mean just take a look at em'! A 4x6 photo will fit perfectly onto the front.  Ill have to mount it on a backer paper but that's easy.  I couldn't get a good pic of the metal tag on the frames but it says made in Rochester, NY.  How cool is that?  A little piece of history.  As it turns out, the woman was having a yard sale as her dad had passed in July and he was a photographer.  Theses were all of his items.  I love the thought of a once beloved item taking up residence in our home now to house some pictures from our wedding. 

 Love begets love.

I have a bunch (like 400!) wedding pictures on order.  As soon as they arrive I'll be placing 2 favorites in these frames.  Ill post a pic of them hung soon.

September 13, 2011

Color Inspiration!!

Today's post will be short and sweet because you'll want lots of time to peruse the website I want to share with you.  It is called Design Seeds and it is the most fabulous site for color inspiration.  If you're like me you've sat in front of your (piles of) papers just hoping that they'll pull themselves together into a rainbow of perfectly matched colors....but they don't.  Design Seeds will offer you new color combos to try, ones you might not have thought of on your own.  Its a "Good Thing" when we find someone to do some of the hard work for us, that leave us more time for stamping and playing!  So grab a cup of coffee, a big one, and a snack cuz you may be glued to the monitor for a while.  Don't ask me how I know that.....

Enjoy!
http://www.design-seeds.com/

And yes, Im still working on a few projects that will be posted shortly. 

September 4, 2011

Flowers for a Friend

Here is  simple card I sent to a friend.  I love the colors and water colored look.  The background stamp is a large checkerboard image.  I colored it using the Distress Stains so I could put color on each square.  I gave it a light spritz of water and stamped it.  I love the results, a soft water color effect.  The flowers were simply stamped on colored papers, all in soft colors to mimic the water color look.  Its a old stamp from Magenta, but I KNOW you have a flower stamp you could use.  Pop-tape allows me to get a layered look with some depth.

 
Remember, it is not always about the stamp that was used in a card; sometimes it is the layout, color combo or technique that 'works', and that is what you can mimic in your design.  Re-make this using whatever background and flower image YOU have at home.  If you don't have Distress Stains,  then use Distress Inks or Dye Inks and a spritz of water. 

Stay tuned as I have been working on an altered schedule book that I'll use this year at work.  And a Christmas themed paper bag album......pictures to follow soon!

August 28, 2011

Doily Love!

Have I mentioned that I love doilies?  Well, I do....there I said it!  I used one on this baby card as a background layer and think it adds charm.  And, "How cute is that elephant?"...I know!  He is from a Hero Arts set called Playful Animals #CL155.  This card went together in a jiffy with scrap strips of paper, the doily, a scalloped circle punch and the elephant; some pearl bling, the saying and bow and it's done.  Easy-peazy-lemon-squeezy as my 6 year old nephew would say ( you KNOW you'll be saying that at some point in the future and think, "What tha....")  


Enjoy!  And the baby for whom the card was made should be making an appearance into the world sometime in the next couple of weeks...how exciting!



August 27, 2011

So Many cards to Share.....

It is hard to pick just one card to share!  But, I decided to post this card tonight, one I made for my dear friend Deborah for her most recent birthday.  I love this card for many reasons; aqua blue is one of my FAV! colors, I sewed on the card ( yes, like with a sewing machine, another FAVORITE thing to do), it has glitter (cuz EVERYTHING is better with a little glitter!)  and it is stuffed ( Yup, just like we used to stuff our bras with tissue, this one has some tissue sew behind the scalloped circle it to give it a puffy look...crazy huh?!?)  There are just so many fun bits to this card.....I almost didn't want to give
it away ;-)
Enjoy.....I know I loved making it and since it still graces her desk at work I think she liked getting it too. 

I stamped the image in white and embossed it in white then water colored over it.  The embossed image will resist the watercolor...so cool!  Glitter was added to the leaves with a glue pen and glitter plus the (required) bits of bling.  HOW did we live without these little babies??  I own them in like a thousand colors....really!
Thats all for now.....

August 25, 2011

2 Flowers Card

I have a tiny love affair going on with this Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 stamp from the "Art from the Heart" collection. I adore it and have used it alot lately. Here is a card I made with it a while ago...apparently its an on-going affair! It's so simple, fun, easy to layer colors and add dimension. Oh....and Im into black and white and polka dots...just thought you'd like to know.
I could go on and on...but I won't. Just enjoy a couple of flowers, I know I do.



August 23, 2011

Class Kits available and Pretty Blog Changes

Well, you might notice the new blog look? I'm trying to figure out Blogger settings and customization options, so it may look different each time you visit...smile...until I know what I'm doing anyway ;)

Good news! Class kits are available from my recent classes at the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook Expo. Stash Cards $18 and Mini Chunky Album $20. Shipping is $5. Shipped on a first come-first served basis. Any parts that need stamping will be done for you so the kits may be put together easily outside of the class. Email your order to artfulhands@gmail.com with your contact info and which kits you'd like.

Here are pictures of the cards. See the Mini Chunky Album pics in the blog archives on the left.





August 18, 2011

Cards to Share.....

I thought Id start blogging more by sharing pictures of some cards Ive made in the past. Here's a tip: take pictures of the cards you make a give away. There will come a day when you look back on them and realize, " Wow, Ive made loads of beautiful cards!!", it's fun to look back and see the progression or stylistic changes in my art over time. Those pictures become inspiration for future cards and easy cards to copy should you need a card in a jiffy.

Here is one I made for my Mom. And here she is...

Her kitchen has accents of copper in it so I went with some metallic papers, decorative edge punches and a stamp that Ive had for years and not used much (anybody know what I'm talking about there?) Its Stampers Anonymous # U205. I have always LOVED Stampers Anonymous' great images, some classic and others way cool. This one reminded me of a woodcut block image. The 3 women in it remind me of me and my 2 sisters. I bought it with my Mom in mind and finally sent her a card using the image. It is embossed in black and light color is added with a watercolor brush and markers. If I made it again I'd go with a brown ink to enhance the look of a woodcut block but my Mom loves black and it seemed to pop with the metallic papers.




If you love the image, let me know and I'll stamp it out a few times and mail them to you. Yes people, we can share stamps and create together. Art brings people together with a chance to share the hobby that unites and inspires us all.

August 16, 2011

Art Journaling Video

This amazed me; Ive watched it more than 5 times just today. Art journaling is beautiful, I love the results of the countless number of generous bloggers who post their work on line. The END RESULTS are layered, textured, colorful; in a word: mesmerizing. Ive never quite known HOW those ARTISTS got the pages to be as gorgeous as they were. This video exquisitely shows that process in all its artful, messy, do-over (and over) glory. I LOVE it! makes me want to get out my supplies and play.

And I will....just as soon as I'm done teaching at the Expo this weekend.
If you missed the on-line registration for classes you can still pay for the classes and register at the door. Hope to see you there!

Watch the Process - I LOVE THAT Art Journal Page from Roben-Marie Smith on Vimeo.

August 14, 2011

Chunky Mini Album Sneak Peek

Don't forget to sign up for classes today. Registration closes Aug 17th. http://www.rubberstampandscrapbookexpo.com/shows/registration.php?ShowID=38"

Here are a few peeks of the Chunky Mini Album. I just love this little album, perfect for pictures, gift cards, journaling in a mini way that is as cute as can be. Bring your camera to class as I have a few samples of the mini album in different color papers and styles.


A view of several chunky pages. Each page has a pull out tag insert.


Beautiful layers and colors!




I hope to see you at the Expo. Follow my blog for class and workshop updates. Ive got some Fall and Holiday classes in the works that you will adore.