"No Place Like Home" A Fresh Coloring Book for the Home Lover

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oil Painting Essentials


Oil Painting Essentials: Mastering Portraits, Figures, Still Lifes, Landscapes, And Interiors by Gregg Kreutz is a great book for a beginner oil painter. As the title says, the book touches upon several areas of oil painting from portraits to interiors with great examples painted by the author himself. He not only covers the technicalities of each area such as strokes, sequence, light, values, etc. but more importantly, delineates the importance of understanding selectivity as the core of the creative process. 

He asks, "How can infinite reality be converted into paint? The answer is selectivity." Understanding the hierarchy of significance of the parts of a scene helps the artist reduce clutter between him/herself and reality. Simplifying the visual complexity of what one's looking at can actually enhance the experience of depicting visual reality for both the artist and viewer.

This book is easy to follow and a great resource for the beginner. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

An Everyday Mini Cards Tutorial


Hello bloggers, today I have a tutorial for you - it's about how to create these mini cards for everyday pick-ups using dies from the Make Happy collection by Stephanie Barnard for Sizzix! 


Before we begin, let's take a look at the guys we will be using today: Sizzix Framelits Die Set 17PK - Card, Mini Circle Flip-its, Sizzix Framelits Die Set 20PK - Card, Mini Half and Sizzix Framelits Plus Die Set 16PK - Envelope, Mini. These die sets work great individually as well as together.


Let's start with the Sizzix Framelits Die Set 17PK - Card, Mini Circle Flip-its. To diecut the card and embellishments, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies, lay another Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pad - Standard. Place cardstock on the Standard Cutting Pad and the dies you want to use blade-side down on it. Cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad and pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot Machine.

Note: I used plain white cardstock because I planned on painting them myself as I love the painted look. Feel free to use your favorite colors of cardstock and patterned papers.


Here are my die-cut pieces, all painted and ready to go.


Once your pieces are ready, it takes only a few minutes to them all together to complete a card. 

TIP: One quick tip with Flip-its cards is that the skinnier or 'little' side always goes to the left.


Next up is the Sizzix Framelits Die Set 20PK - Card, Mini Half. You can design this card several different ways. In the packaging, you can see how a heart-shaped window was cut out to create a peek-through for the card. I did not cut any windows on mine. Instead, I created layers on the flaps.

To diecut this card, create the exact same Sizzix Sandwich as I described above for the first card. Also diecut some of the embellishments that you would like to use.
 

Again, use your choice of papers.


Layer the base of the two halves to make the gatefold card. On the left flap, attach one heart halfway. Attach a smaller heart to the right flap, also halfway. On the bigger heart, attach the layered sentiment, "Just a Little Something". On the base, attach the layered gift die-cut.


Finally, we die-cut the envelopes for these mini cards using Sizzix Framelits Plus Die Set 16PK - Envelope, Mini and Big Shots Plus machine.

To diecut the envelopes, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on the Sizzix Accessory Big Shot Plus Platform - Standard, lay the Big Shot Plus Adapter A - Standard, both of which come with the Big Shot Plus machine. Place the Sizzix Big Shot Plus Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard on Adapter A. Lay your paper on the Cutting Pad and the envelope and embellishment dies on it blade side down. Cover with the other Big Shot Plus Standard Cutting Pad. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot Plus machine.


Assemble the envelopes.


Place your cards in the envelopes.


Now your cards are ready for the mail!

Supplies:
Sizzix Framelits Die Set 17PK - Card, Mini Circle Flip-its
Sizzix Framelits Die Set 20PK - Card, Mini Half
Sizzix Framelits Plus Die Set 16PK - Envelope, Mini
Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard

Others: cardstock, acrylic paints, paint brush, adhesive

Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Make Owl & Fox Treat Boxes/ Shelf-Sitters

 

Hello there! Today, I have for you a tutorial on how to make these adorable owl and fox treat boxes or shelf-sitters using the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 6PK - Box, Owl and Fox by Jen Long. So, let's get started!


The Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 6PK - Box, Owl and Fox comes with a die to make the boxes and two sets of dies - owl and fox to decorate the boxes.  


To make each box, you will need two of the box pieces. To die-cut the box, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on a Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform For Wafer-Thin Dies, lay another Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard. Place a cardstock on the Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard and the box die, blade-side down on the cardstock and cover with the other Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine. Repeat to make more boxes.


Fold along the crease lines to form the box shape. Attach two box pieces together by applying adhesive to one of the tabs. Apply adhesive to the other tab to close the box.


Here are two of my assembled boxes.


Diecut the owl decorations using the same Sizzix Sandwich as above. Be sure to cut two of the wings and eyes. I used cardstock for these pieces as I plan to paint them. You could also use coordinating colors of cardstock.


Repeat with the fox decorations, again die-cut two of the face and eye pieces.


Attach the faces, eyes, wings and tail to the boxes.


Now, paint the pieces to complete the boxes. You could fill them with treats or just sit them on your shelves.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and try these cuties for yourself!

Supplies:
Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard
Others: cardstock, acrylic paints, paint brush, adhesive


Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win! 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Understanding Exposure

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781607748502?height=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif 

I read an earlier edition of Understanding Exposure when I bought my first DSLR a few years ago. When the fourth edition was published, I wanted to read it again. A book like this is really great for reference for those who want to try the manual mode of their cameras. 

Apart from easy explanations and how-to's of aperture, shutter speed, light and flash, there are real life examples of the differences in images that correct exposure can bring about. Plus, I like the ideas for creating intriguing backgrounds with everyday things in regular places by knowing the exact specs to capture them.

The comments accompanying the photos shot by the author, Bryan Peterson himself, make you see that even established photographers run into some of the same problems that you and I do and how even the amateurs can learn to overcome them.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Father's Day Project You Can Create with the Kids


Father's Day is just around the corner and you too might be looking for ideas to create something personal and handmade for these special men in our lives. Here's a tutorial for a cute bird cage that you can make with the kids using Lori Whitlock's Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 13PK - For the Birds. So, let's get started!


Here's the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 13PK - For the Birds.
To die-cut the bird cage, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on the Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies, lay another Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard. Lay the kraft cardstock on the Standard Cutting Pad and lay the
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 13PK - For the Birds blade-side down. Cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad and pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.
Repeat three more times to get all four pieces needed to assemble the bird cage. 
 

Here are the die-cut bird cage pieces. Press along the crease lines on each piece to fold the tabs.


Apply adhesives along the side tabs and join the pieces together.

Attach the bottom tabs together to close the base. Join the top tabs to complete assembling the bird cage.  


Brush some paints on the bird cage.


Also included in the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 13PK - For the Birds, 
are the birds, heart and feather pictured above and some words. Die-cut them out of white cardstock using the same Sizzix Sandwich as described above. 
Paint details on the die-cut pieces.


Attach the birds, heart, feather and the words 'Thanks' to the bird cage as shown.


To make a hanger for the bird cage, thread a needle and knot the thread at the end. Be sure to make the knot big enough so it doesn't come out. Insert the needle through the upper part of the cage and pull it out through the small opening at the very top. Sew in a couple of pom poms and bead. Loop the thread back into the bead and tie a few knots to finish.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial!


Supplies: 
Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads - Standard

Others: cardstock, acrylic paints, paint brush, palette knife, thread, pom poms, needle, bead, adhesive

THERE'S A HUGE SALE OVER AT SIZZIX...CHECK IT OUT!!!
 

Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win!