this crazy month of May

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!!! I hope this weekend finds you enjoying family and friends.  For me this weekend starts out the summer.  We have been fortunate this month to have some very nice weekends that have allowed for yard work and tasks outside.  Some of that has pulled me away from crafting, but not enough to have some posts to share with you.

Before we start with the obvious, Mother’s Day, I want to share a learning experience I had.  Every May the Great Lakes Mega Meet comes here to Michigan.  This was my second year going and was even better than last year.  When I went last year I really was just starting to get into making handmade cards.  I was not yet familiar with what the crafting world had to offer.  I roamed the convention area a bit overwhelmed.  I had no idea what half of the vendors were selling and demonstrating.  I settled in and watched Tim Holtz demonstrate various products and techniques, and even brought home a nice stash of goodies to play with.

Fast forward to this year.  Holy Smokes!!!!! I can’t believe how much I have been exposed to this past year.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed last year, it was very inspiring, but this year was even better.  This year I had some items on my list that I was hoping to pick up and a better knowledge of what was out there.  I make this a special day.  The event runs from Thursday to Saturday, so I take Friday off from work, head out early with a quick stop for my favorite breakfast sandwich and away I go.  There is something special about going to an event like this by yourself.  You get to see and do what ever you want.  My creative juices start to flow, I think about upcoming projects that I have in mind and I get to open myself up to learning.  I find that I am like a sponge, absorbing all the sights around me.  The colors, textures and other crafters inspire me.

This year I didn’t find it as overwhelming.  I know have a better understanding of how I like to work and I found products and techniques that would help take my creativity to a new level.  There was one thing that didn’t change from last year and that was the Stamper’s Anonymous booth featuring Tim Holtz.  If you have never had the opportunity to watch him create, you need to.  What an amazing teacher and artist.  So very inspiring.

the always inspiring Tim Holtz

the always inspiring Tim Holtz

Not only do we need to take time to breathe create relax but also to learn.  For me a day spent observing creativity helps me to reboot my mind.  Since crafting is relatively new to me, I find myself wanting to create a specific look but not knowing exactly what to use.  Watching a demonstration about a technique or product helps me to understand the how’s and why’s.  Learning on your own terms is very rewarding.  You can observe and not be embarrassed by what you don’t know. You have time to process what you see and adapt it to your own style.

If you haven’t taken a class or gone to a craft convention on your own, do so.  I guarantee you’ll learn something new about your self, either personally or creatively.  Oh! and you’re bound to come home with a bunch of new goodies. Maybe, you’ll even make some new friends.

a great day had by all

a great day had by all

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baby baby

baby baby art and card

On the Saturday of Easter weekend I was lucky enough to be a part of a very special celebration.  Members of our family are expecting their first little one and a wonderful luncheon was given in honor of the lovely mom to be.  Here is what I put together as part of my gift and I wanted to share this with you all.  I came up with the idea after taking notice of some of the pictures that the future mom had pinned on Pinterest.  I was noticing her choices when it came to decor for the babies room, pinks, frills and girlie glam, this is the result.  I hope you enjoy and have time to breathe create relax. –mj 

card close upproducts used

baby baby detail

spring has sprung

spring fling

Hello Everyone!

I’m a little bit at a loss for words.  It’s been really hard to find the time to blog lately and that is a real bummer.  I think about you all everyday as I sit at my regular 9-5 job and miss being creative.  But Friday and I have finally found our way to each other and I just want to share what I’ve been up to.

Spring is on it’s way and seeing the sun, hearing the birds and enjoying some warmer temps inspired me with my Easter cards.  In the past I have done individual cards, each one unique.  But this time around I decided on replicating the same shape and idea but changing up the colors and making small changes.  I used a “production line” way of assembling and it made it much easier to do multiple cards in a shorter time frame.  I did start by working one card all the way through from start to finish just so that I had my basic ideas down and then I went in and “mass produced” all my pieces.  Below are some pictures of the process as well as the steps.

paper

Cut card stock and soften corners with corner rounder.

1. Cut card stock and soften corners with corner rounder.

2. Stamp Bristol with desired images.

3. Color images with assorted Distress Inks/Markers.

4. Punch holes in corner of Bristol for brads (optional).

stamping

Stamp designs on Bristol

 

 

 

 

5. Add embossed detail to color card stock.

6. Assemble cards.

7. Create custom embellishments and assemble.

8. Put together cards and add embellishments.

ready to color

It was fun to create in this way.  I love to do individual cards, each unique to the person who is receiving it, but that can sometimes take longer.  My work week can often be hectic and by the time the weekend rolls around my mind is mush. So to keep things simple I opted for easier cards.  It was also a nice way to work in my new space.  I found myself standing and sitting and moving around comfortably.  It can take me some time in a new space to get acquainted with my work area and creating a routine helped me to work efficiently without having to remember where I had put everything.  I think this new space is going to work out perfectly.

I had time on Easter to set up a Christmas present from my husband, my desktop studio.  Now I can have photo shoots with my creations and show them in a more professional manner.  Scroll through to see the final results and the products used.  Thank you for allowing me to take the time to breathe create relax. – mj

desktop studio

hello spring

welcome spring

bunny hop

butterfly blue

easter cards

spring wish

hop into spring

products used 

 

 

creative space now complete!

Creative Space Main Picture

Hello!!!!!

I have missed you all so much!!!! I am pleased to say that my new creative space is finally done.  It has been a learning process and a great winter project to see us through to some warmer temps.  Many may ask… “would you do it again?”  I’ll be honest. No, not really.  It’s wonderful to have such a beautiful place to create, but I’ve got some clean up to do.  That has been the hardest part for me.  The mess.  Drywall dust, cleaning paint brushes and vacuuming up sawdust. But spring cleaning is always a must for me, so what’s a little extra.  The other part of this project that was hard was being away from creativity.  Now I did manage to do some cards while spread out at my kitchen island, but there is nothing more satisfying than your place.  That special place where all your stuff is at, not to mention, a door that closes so you can leave your mess behind.  But here’s to the new space, a  place that I plan on spending more time in and I place that I hope will see many exciting posts, projects and future endeavors.  A place to breathe create relax.

PaintPainting this space was very simple.  I love to paint on paper or canvas, but painting a room is another chore all together.  For this project I did actually enjoy it.  The best part was that I didn’t have to lay down drop clothes or worry about trim.  It was just an easy application.

After painting was complete, we started on the ceiling and electrical.  We keptElectrical 1 things simple with a drop ceiling that we installed ourselves.  At one point I felt like I was on Survivor competing for immunity, I was standing on a ladder holding the frame up above my head for what seemed like forever, while my husband made some adjustments.  Once we got the frame up it was really easy to place the tiles.  Planning for electrical was also going on at this time and we had to keep allowances for that in our mind.  I actually used my creativity to help out my husband.  The hot air return needed to be marked on the tile so that we could cut out the size we needed for the register.  I used some ink to stamp the outline of the duct work onto the tile so my husband knew exactly what size to cut it.  Making stencils helped out with the lights too.  Now I can’t believe how much of a change the lighting has made.  I wanted bright and cheery, that’s what it is.Lighting

DoorOne of the other obstacles that we had to tackle was the storage under the stairs.  We didn’t want to lose this space, but I also didn’t want it to be seen.  On the other side of that storage space is my husbands work area, but it also houses our furnace and other electrical fixtures.  It is too crowded to use as an entry to the space so we knew we had to be able to get to it from my craft space.  At first I had the thought of using a curtain, very much like a window treatment.  But, I had come across these great pins on Pinterest with barn doors.  We had some beautiful Cherry left over from my father in law and my husband built me this wonderful rustic door.

Next came flooring.  I loved it! It was fun to do and easy at that.  I Flooring 2enjoyed watching the room become more of a room.  It is amazing how flooring and trim can really finish a space.  We had a late Friday and Saturday night laying the floor, but it was happy feet that walked across the finished results.

Happy Feet

Trim Going DownThe final details of door fixtures and paint touch up was all that stood in the way of the space coming together.  I did have to sit down and figure out my space after the trim was complete.  I was very thankful that I decided to wait until the room was finished before I committed to pieces for my organizational needs.  My original idea needed to be scrapped and I went back to the drawing board.  Once I had my ideas laid out, with measuring tape in hand and the Ikea Ap on my phone, we headed off to Ikea for my favorite part, the goodies to organize the space.

 

 

Before

Before

After

After

Before 2

After 2

A place to blog and work on photography

Additional workspace

Additional workspace

Another great view

Another great view

I love it!

I love it!

I love this space.  For two people who have never really done anything like this before, I think it turned out better than I had hoped.  I now have this wonderful creative space and I am happy to share it with you.  –mj

shake it up

shaker birthday card

Like I promised in my last blog post, my very first shaker card.  I just had to try one of these cards after seeing so many wonderful examples on Instagram and other such sites.  At first I was stumped as to what supplies I would use to create such cards.  I did a little investigating on the internet to learn a little more and then I set out to my nearest craft store.  Now I just realized this really wasn’t a smart idea.  I have just introduced yet another section of the store that I can search for additional goodies for card making.  I had to find out what section the acetate was in, (found it after ordering online) and where in the heck would they put sequins? Up until this point I really had only used one kind of foam tape, and low and behold, there are other options out there.

I had a vision for this card when I started and I found that helped tremendously.  When you have a card shape, colors and image picked out it is only a matter of learning a new technique, in this case the creation of the shaker, that you have to really think about.

While out on my hunt for additional supplies I came across this great gadget from EK Tools.  It’s called the Curvy Cutter Double Circle Maker.  With my creative space under construction I wanted a tool that I could use quickly without having to get out my Cricut and this little gem was perfect for the job.  It was what I used to create my circle cutout on my card stock, the border for my shaker window and my acetate window.  It proved to be very useful all on one card.

Photo Courtesy of Create For Less

Photo Courtesy of Create For Less

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I worked on this card I was thinking of a way to share more information with you all on how to make shaker cards.  I decided to do more of these for Valentine’s Day and will also share some step by step photos when time permits.  With drywall dust flying and our basement looking like a craft store exploded, I certainly feel a little “shaken up” but it is times like this that I have to remember to breathe create relax –mj

products used

 

 

 

so hard to wait

Flooring of choice

Flooring of choice

Sorry everyone for being gone so long.  My husband and I are still working on my creative space.  It is a project that mainly is reserved for the weekends. With the exception of the electrical work, we are doing everything ourselves.  Thankfully, my husband has done drywall before and that has helped.  It is a learning project and I am sure there will be things that we know are imperfect but I feel there is an amount of pride that comes from doing it together.  I will be the person who spends the most time in the room and with the excitement of having it finished, I know it will be my special place.

Cutting Dry Wall

Cutting Dry Wall

To date we have drywall done and need to sand and mud yet again.  I’ve picked out a lovely neutral beige color from Behr Paint called Wheat Bread.  I was thinking about a little more color but wanted to keep the walls as light as possible without going white.  It is a room in the basement without windows and along with the lighting, I wanted to create as much light as possible.  I will pull in some color with the small decor details.

Currently I have three work areas that I am designing layouts for.  One space is strictly for working.  I’ve placed that area close to all other areas where supplies will be kept.  The second space is for blogging and computer work.  This area will be free of art supplies so as not to have an accidents with sprays, water and such.  Finally, the third area is where my Cricut and Vagabond will find a home.  I want to make sure I have space to use them and have all the accessories close at hand.  There has already been one trip to Ikea to get some pieces to add to what I have currently.

Hanging dry wall

Hanging dry wall

I can’t wait to share the results.  It is really hard to wait for the finished product, but I know it will be worth it.

What have you done to create a space especially for you?  Did you find some unique goodies that helped to organize your space?  Anything I should know or helpful hints?  I would love to hear from you.

First round of mud

First round of mud

Coming soon, my first shaker card! Tune in to see my kitchen island turn into a temporary workspace and how even with no true place to work, I still found time to breathe create relax.

thank you to all who follow mj

under construction

bring on the lumber

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!! I hope everyone is well rested after the whirlwind that was the holiday season? I am very excited to say that my husband and I started our very first home construction project.  We have now celebrated our second Christmas in our newly built home but we had a room in the basement that we left unfinished with the plans to eventually take on the task ourselves.  Neither one of us have much experience, but we do have a can do attitude and are not afraid to ask questions or for help if needed.

about a year ago this was all I needed

about a year ago this was all I needed

It was only a year ago that I was just starting to play with paper crafting and my first little work space was just fine. Ha! little did I know how quickly I would outgrow that space.  I took some advise from a good friend who told me “live in the space for awhile to see how you want to organize it before you commit”.  I’ve done just that.  I’ve added additional storage, changed things around and now I think I am ready to set up a permanent studio.  As we work through this project I am still thinking about the space and how I want to be able to utilize the space.  The one thing I have definitely realized is that it is nice to have a couple of different work spaces.  This way I can set up stations for certain tasks instead of having it pile up in one space.

before photo

before photo

construction begins

construction begins

I started the process yesterday when I cleaned out the room and  boxed up my crafting supplies.  I am not going to lie, it was really hard for me at first. I was completely overwhelmed.  I kept thinking back to this blog, how much I wanted to keep going with creating and sharing projects with you all.  But this is a project right?  So in the midst of moving things out I said to my husband “I’m just going to embrace this and not worry about creating cards, I’m going to share this experience on the blog”.

framing complete

framing complete

I hope you hang in there and tune in to see the progress.  I’m sure I’ll have a few side projects to share since this is something we only can work on during the weekend.  Like any major undertaking, I’ll need to make sure to tell myself breathe create relax.  mj