Friday, January 31, 2014

Looking Ahead with Tim ... Holtz January 2014 Tag

I am going to just make it under the wire for Tim's January 2014 Tag.  If you haven't taken part in any of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags Challenges, you really should give it a shot.   I've learned so much and have been so inspired by his creativity.  This month's tag was no exception.  In fact, it has to be my favorite tag to date.  Tim started off the year with a "time" theme.  He reminded us to "remember the now".  Thanks Tim!!!  What a fabulous theme and amazing vintage-techniques tutorial.  I'm not going to go into all the steps.  You can see it all here on his January 2014 Tag Tutorial.

As you can see, my tag has some bonus features :)  My take on Tim's January tag took a detour to the future.  After extended illness and a trip to the Chiari Institute right before Christmas ended with another surgery on my agenda, I thought about taking another look at 2014 through a different lens.  Instead of bemoaning the trials, I wanted to bask in the treasures that 2014 can bring to me.  So here is my very own Steampunk "Pre-ViewMaster" and the tag containing my personal 2014 futureview disc. 

As you can see from January tag, I see hope (a brand new surgical procedure that can help my symptoms), courage (for the hard months of work before my surgery and the hard months of healing after), laughter ( life always has its silly moments), and inspiration (because I know I can always count on this community's creativity to inspire me).  This year looks pretty good to me.

Here are a few closeups:

 I wish this post could be a little longer, but I am pretty tired tonight.  So I will leave you with this thought .... "what will you see" in your own 2014 futuredisc?  -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A is for ... At Last ...

Things at work have settled down and I am finally getting around to completing some projects that I started ... and stopped ... and started again.  And that explains the "At Last" part of the title of this post.  At last, I'm finally finishing one of my unfinished projects.  It's about time!  You see ... this is a birthday card for my sister-in-law.  Her birthday was in mid-December.  Sigh!  Better late than never.

Once again, I've been playing with my Distress Markers, a detail water brush, and some watercolor paper.  I love Tim's blueprint stamps.  I used some glitter paint pens to add some hand painted borders around each stamped image.  I then used a square Die from Sizzix to cut out the images (ok ... the "present" image is a little off-center, but at least I didn't have to cut the squares by hand).  The fun part came when I started searching for some coordinating paper from my stash to put in the background of my card.  I found paper that I don't remember buying (sigh ... confessions of a hoarder!)  After that, I went through my stash and found some ribbon, gems and other embellishments.  I completed the card with some punched stars from extra paper (outlined with Distress Markers and adhered with foam dots and squares to add more dimension to the card) and a fussy cut stamped "party" that I colored with Distress Markers.  Voila!  A birthday card.

So, to celebrate the completion of this project, I am entering it in the "A is for ..." Challenge at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (since 'At Last' I finished this card) and Claudia's "No More Shopping Sins" Challenge at Our Creative Corner (since I managed to finish the card using forgotten paper along with many other items from my stash and without committing another shopping sin).  Thanks to all the wonderful challenges and their Design Team members who continue to inspire us to create :)

And now if I can just finish my sister-in-law's birthday gift.  Alas, that must be the topic of a later post.  Happy creating to you all and thanks for stopping by.  --  Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Let the Snowflakes Fly!!!

Ok ... so I took the idea of "flying snowflakes" rather literally this week when I added some wings to my focal snowflake for this piece.  We have seen quite a few snowflakes lately in the NC mountains.  It feels like the wind has added extra sets of wings to them these days.  So, here is my attempt to celebrate (rather that complain about) the beauty of the flying frozen flakes.

Here is the completed project.  I think the swirls look a little too much like horns (even though I really meant them to be eddies of air currents behind the fast moving snowflake). 

I've just finished our first week of classes at the university and I'm pretty tired.  I really didn't feel up to spending time in my craft room, so I packed up my Distress Markers and waterbrushes and left them beside my bed.  I love snow and I have several snowflake stamps. One evening, I stamped some watercolor paper with these snowflakes and added some Prima swirl and wing stamps.  I spent some time before I crashed each night to add some color with  Distress Markers (just love these!!!) along with a few  glitter, archival and gel pens (the focal snowflake was outlined with a metallic silver gel pen.) I'm finding ways to create that don't require hours in my craft room.  Ah ... joy!

 Here are a few more close ups:


I have the day off from work tomorrow.  Hopefully I will have some energy to expend in my craft room and make the rounds to your blogs.  Wishing you all the best!  -- Mary Elizabeth