Thursday, October 08, 2015

Inspired by Autumn: A Series in Art Making, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of my Inspired by Autumn mini Blog series!
If this is your first time here, let me tell you a little bit about what this series is about.
Autumn is my most favorite time of the year. Right now, nature is at its best in my eyes and that is inspiring my creativity! I'm sketching, art journaling, scrapbooking... you can take a peek into my Instagram to see my daily musings. In order to live this beautiful season to the fullest, I wanted to share some of my favorite fall projects, new and old, along with brief how-tos here on my blog every Thursday this October.
You can read the post from Week 1 here.
You are most welcome to take inspiration from these projects. But don't feel limited by any product choices that I made here. I hope you'll stop by on Thursdays this month to see some inspired projects from me. Feel free to ask if you have questions for me. And if you too are inspired to create by autumn, please leave link(s) to your favorite fall-inspired creations in the comment section! Such things are better shared, right?
This layout "Fall Delights" first appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine in the Scrapbook How To: Create Ombre Accents article.
[Copyright: Creating Keepsakes, shared with prior permission from the Publisher]
Let me tell you briefly what I remember about how I created the ombre effect. I chose some six shades of Gelatos colors: Buttercream, Lemon, Mango, Tangerine, Blood Orange and Red Cherry and colored a few pieces of watercolor paper with each. I blended the colors with wet brush. When dry, I cut out basic leaf shapes with scissors. Attaching those leaves to the layout background in shades of dark to light created that cascading ombre effect! A bit of machine stitching added some texture.
This layout is now almost three years old, but still one of my most favorite layouts that I created. Below are some close-ups of the technique I just shared.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your day is filled with happiness and see you next Thursday with Week 3 of Inspired by Autumn!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Take the Challenge with Mou, October 2015 at the Design Memory Craft blog

Hello Bloggers, Mou here! Are you ready for a creative challenge? I hope you are, for it's the time for the October 2015 Take the Challenge with Mou over at the Design Memory Craft blog!
If you are new to this blog, let me fill you in about Take the Challenge. Every month, on the first Monday, I'll post a challenge and my take on it. You'll have 12 days to take this on. Leave a comment to the challenge post with a link to your creation based on that challenge. We will pick TWO winners from among the readers who participated in that month's challenge. And the winners will get a prize from Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft®.

October is the month of Halloween, at least here in the States. If  you are around children, you know that what they love most about that, is the Trick or Treat ritual. So, I thought, for October, why don't I issue you a two-part challenge? No no, don't worry it won't be too tricky and as always there will be a treat at the end! And even if you are not in the States, you can totally play along too. So, without further ado, your challenge this month is:
Part 1: Use BLACK Chalkboard Paint (as much or as little you like) on something you create. It does not have to be Halloween-related, although that would be fun too! 
Part 2: Add an owl. Sketch it, doodle it, draw it, transfer it, stamp it... you decide it.
Take a look at what I made.
I really love owls. I see them practically everywhere from mugs to pendants and I am impressed with how artists interpret this wise bird in their works. So, I decided to make a nursery décor for my baby with an owl on it.

Here's a list of supplies I used:
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Textural Accents: Chalkboard Paint
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft PITT Pastel Pencils NEUTRALS
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Tool: GRIP Triangular Sharpener
Others: wood plaque, paint brush

If you like to do something similar, here are the instructions.
Start by painting the wood plaque with BLACK Chalkboard Paint. You don't need to gesso your wood plaque. Once the first coat dries, apply another coat.

Sketch your bird with WHITE PITT Pastel Pencil. This works like chalk, only better. Keep a GRIP Triangular Sharpener handy for you'll need to sharpen your WHITE PITT Pastel Pencil in between.
Once you have the outline, fill in details and shade some parts.

Here's a close up of my nursery plaque.

Don't forget to share your challenge creations with us... just leave a comment to this challenge post with link to your project image(s) by Sunday, 10/18 and we will pick TWO winners randomly to win these.
And now the TREAT part as promised...
The prize for this challenge is: One pack of Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft PITT Pastel Pencils NEUTRALS (#770182)

Don't forget to check back on Monday, 10/19 to see if YOU won! Good luck to all!

Friday, October 02, 2015

A Card for Men and Boys

Shopping for men and boys is hard! Creating greeting cards that will appeal to guys, I think, might be harder. And I know that I'm not alone in this. Do you struggle with this too?
Here's an attempt I made to create a card with that struggle in mind. I chose map, woodgrain and blue colored papers. Pretty standard masculine patterns and colors, right? Next, I chose a hot air balloon and a star-studded sentiment that I diecut using Stephanie Barnard's Summer Is die collection from Sizzix. While I wanted to create a everyday masculine card with these dies, you can really give it any look you like. 
Let me walk you through the steps of making this card.

These are the dies I started with: Sizzix Framelits Die Set 14PK - Card, Kind Sentiments Step-Ups for my card base and Sizzix Triplits Die Set 9PK - Hot Air Balloons to embellish.

Cut cardstock and patterned papers in sizes that will fit the above dies. You also raid your stash of paper scraps for this.

To diecut the card base, create this Sizzix Sandwich: Lay a Sizzix Accessory Standard Cutting Pad on another Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies. Lay your paper face down on the Standard Cutting Pad and place the Kind Sentiments Step-Ups die blade-side down on the paper. Cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad and pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.
Repeat the same Sizzix sandwich as described above to diecut all the layers of the Kind Sentiments Step-Ups and Hot Air Balloons. Using the Standard Magnetic Platform ensures that each die is held in place for precision cuts for your project.
Here are the die cut parts and pieces of the  Kind Sentiments Step-Ups card and Hot Air Balloons. 

Start layering the  Kind Sentiments Step-Ups card pieces to the card base.

Attach the sentiment, also from the Kind Sentiments Step-Ups set.

Layer the pieces of the Hot Air Balloon together.
Attach the Hot Air Balloon to the Kind Sentiments Step-Ups card.
Here's a close-up of the card.
It came out rather handsome, I think! Fit for a guy, don't you think?
And here's a complete list of supplies I used: 
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Mint)
Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies
Cardstock: Michaels
Patterned papers: October Afternoon
Adhesive: Scotch 3M
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, October 01, 2015

Inspired by Autumn: A Series in Art Making, Week 1

Hey there! I hope you are enjoying autumn where you are!

This is the first time in my life, I'm enjoying fall in more than just a tourist kind of way. I grew up in Calcutta where seeing greenery amidst concrete and crowd of people was in itself a treat but fall didn't really visit in a colorful way.

Then I lived in Tampa, Florida for 15 years. I sure loved the abundance of sunshine and year-round warm weather and wearing flip flops all year and having the freedom to visit beautiful beaches and Disney whenever I felt like. I have also seen hurricanes turn days into nights, I have seen the rage of oceans, and pouring rains that made my little Versa almost rock like a boat on the flooded streets. But once again, autumn dodged my neck of the woods!

We moved this summer. To be honest, it was not easy! But secretly, I was also a bit excited to experience change of seasons. Chester is rich in natural beauty, I was told. When we moved in to our new home, it was just as hot as in Tampa. I couldn't wait for fall to come and bring her grandeur with her!

There are several farms and orchards around where we are. It has become a weekend family activity for us to go apple and berry picking. It is a lot of fun and a welcome change from visiting theme parks every weekend... yeah, living just an hour away from Orlando and few minutes from Busch Gardens can do that to you!

But this last week, we had some rain here and the air has turned somewhat chilly, well at least, by my tropical standards! And guess what, it's a treat to step out even if it's just to go to the mail box... my whole street is brimming with colors -- reds, yellows, and still enough greens. Just take a look!

What can I say, I'm in love with Autumn..... and that sure is inspiring my creativity! I'm sketching, art journaling, scrapbooking... you can take a peek into my Instagram to see my daily musings. In order to live this beautiful season to the fullest, I thought I'd share some of my favorite fall projects, new and old, along with brief how-tos here on my blog every Thursday this October.

You are not limited by any product choices here. I just hope you find my projects inspiring. So, please stop by on Thursdays this month to see some inspired project from me. And I would REALLLY LOOOOVE it if you leave me a comment or two with link(s) to your favorite fall-inspired creations!!! Won't that be fun?

Okay, so I'll start my mini autumn-inspired series with a brand new layout.

I started this layout with a neutral grey cardstock as my photos are very colorful. Rather than just placing the pictures one below another, I created a staggered strip of photos mounted on slightly wider strips of Bonfire and Hayride  papers from Daily Flash Apple Cider collection by October Afternoon. The papers instantly warmed up the grey background to match my Autumn photos. I cut my title out of Pumpkin Picking paper and created an embellishment by cutting out a tree from the Hayride paper.

Fall reminds me of sweaters and textures. To create that feel on my layout, I machine-stitched around the photo strips and title. I cut out leaf shapes from Bonfire paper and sprinkled them around the page like leaves falling from trees. Next I splattered paints around carefully as not to drop a lot on my photos. To add a date to the layout, I used the Daily Flash 2010's Decade Stamp, also  by October Afternoon. Finally, I journaled at the bottom.

Here are some close-up shots of my layout.

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my post! Before you leave, here's the sketch for you that I based my layout on. Hope you find it useful in your creation.
Hope you have a glorious day!

Monday, September 28, 2015

How About A Banner?

One of the most fun parts of being creative is that you never run out of fresh home décor! You can make whatever you want with anything you have in all the colors you want and in the size that is just right for an odd corner or an empty space on the wall where nothing else you have will fit. Like this tiny banner...  
There were a few packs of canvas pieces - pennants, flower petals, leaves. There was a piece of ribbon from forever ago. And of course, there were colors, a few buttons, some thread and a needle.

When I got a few minutes off, I colored the canvas pieces with Gelatos colors. Stacked the layers of flowers and leaves together and stitched them together with buttons in the center. Stitched the flowers to the banner pieces and quickly handlettered the greeting with a Stamper's Big Brush pen. Doodled around a bit and stitched the pieces onto that from-forever-ago piece of ribbon to finish.
The little banner now adds color to a library ledge!
Quick, easy and FUN!  

Monday, September 21, 2015

A play on textures, colors and handlettering

As my oldest is getting closer to turning into a teenager, I hear about a lot of peer pressure for conformity, generic expectations and stress over acceptance vs. being true to yourself. From her choices of clothing to friends, after-school activities, choice of music and the list goes on while she weighs her options and balances authenticity with social acceptance. We have all been there and we know that at times it's hard to say 'no' to popular choices in favor of what we know to be right for us in the long run. It's the dilemma of fitting in and standing out. As she enters this realm of choices that she has to be responsible for, I try to encourage and remind her that it's important to remain true to herself and that these choices might alienate some people but not those who are truly meant to be her friends, I also try to validate that it is easier said than done and the pressure is real but it get easier as she grows older, wiser and more confident of her choices. From all those conversations with her, sprung this art journal page.
It is somewhat symbolic to me. The little triangles are like little obstacles that surround all of us. But they are not so big that we can't overcome or work around them. To translate that feeling into tangible texture, I applied Whipped Spackle through a triangle stencil. I used a heat tool to dry the texture medium and to introduce a few bubbles into it to create a bumpy texture.

From another perspective, the triangles are arrows pointing a certain way to look forward to. They are also like stepping stones guiding the way once you can rise above the small stuff and take a look at the bigger picture! The colors all around are using Gelatos colors.

Then there's the quote that says it all! I handlettered it with Stamper's Big Brush pen BLACK to make it stand out on a busy background.
Supplies used:
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Textural Accents and Tools:
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gelatos®: Gelatos Designer Colors - 50's Diner 
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stamper's Big Brush Pen BLACK
Others: Art journal, heat tool

What is inspiring your art journal pages these days? Please share in the comments!