Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rustic Outdoor Photo Album

More of what I've been up to in the studio lately.  Getting too hot (and too rainy) to enjoy South Florida so I've been inside in my element.  This goodie was created because I wanted to try out some new materials in the album. It's got burlap, cork, jute and wood incorporated into it. Love how it turned out and it's perfect for lots of summer activities. I'm thinking hiking, camping, fishing, hunting or just cuz you've got some really interesting "Guy Shots" that you need a place for. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

2 Shot handicap

Last night I finished the latest FSU albums to go up on ETSY and I had all intensions of posting a “How To” on creating the flower on the front.  Went looking for the camera . . . .and looking . . .  and looking! &%^*#.

NO CAMERA!  So I called my daughter and borrowed hers.  Read: new camera, no clue how to adjust the settings so the contrast comes out clear or there isn't a blue cast to all the photos! 

Add to that the fact that this album is in dark shades of garnet, chestnut, gold cream and black and thus the title.  I had 2 things working against me.  Scratch the “How To”. Just post the album. 

I made 2 and one’s already been promised so there’s only one left on the site for sale.

YEAH! Anyway, enjoy.  I’m off to find my &%$# camera!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Art Journal Heaven

I’m in The Villages in Central Florida on the last leg of my Spring Fling.  Thought I’d quickly share with you before I head off to class again. Yesterday was day one of a two day workshop with Dyan Reaveley. Art Journaling is an area I’ve stuck my toe in before without much success. Not this time. 
HRH Dyan
One of Dyan's journal covers

Workshop space at She Scrapbooks

I had so much fun just letting go and not worrying about what the outcome would be. Dyan is easy to listen to and looking through the journals she brought with her is so inspiring.  She tells you that she can teach you how to journal the way she journals, but she can’t teach you the way you journal.  So liberating.  She uses the metaphor of creating Chicken Soup. You can watch her make it but ultimately, you take away what you need and make it your own.
One of Dyan's journal pages

One of my better attempts. This one has journaling pockets.

We learned how to create several layers on a background, ghosting and how to use her journaling stamps on a page. I had a few hits, a few misses, and a couple that aren’t finished but have potential. I’m going back today for more!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Just Perfect!

 I had some time between Scrapbook Expo and my next adventure so I went to EPCOT on Sunday. From March to May every year they have a Garden Festival and their beautiful grounds are gussied up in all things Spring. I try to go about every third year, trying to hit it when everything’s had a chance to establish itself and the weather’s still cool. Can I just say that Sunday was perfect!  The temperature at 10:00 when I went through the gate was 63 degrees! There was a slight breeze all day and the temperature didn’t get above 75.

Even though I only live 3 hours south of Orlando, there are lots of things that grow up here that don’t in sunny Ft. Lauderdale. So I just took the day to explore all the plants and attend some of my favorite countries. That’s right, I speed right past the front of the park, past the Fast Tracks, and the Soaring ride, past the giant aquarium and the huge ball that defines EPCOT and head right for the World exhibits at the back of the park. 

I love the films in France, Canada, China and Norway. Love the exhibit in Japan where you can pick an oyster they open for you and extract your own real pearl. Love the night sky in the Mexico exhibit too. And Mexico was special this year as I attended on Cinco de Mayo! They were celebrating in the street in front of the exhibit and inside as well, so much fun. I even snagged lunch in France without a reservation. Wasn’t so lucky trying to get into Canada for dinner, but that’s OK.  There’s always another year.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Road Trip

Pool view, so relaxing!
I’m taking a few days off for a trip around Florida to do some rejuvenating and some learning.  I started off Thursday morning and headed to Orlando for Scrapbook Expo, held at the Gaylord Palms.  This is a convention that I’ve attended in the past and I use it as an opportunity to get out and see what others are doing in the craft.  This will probably be the last time I travel out of town to attend the Expo, more downs the ups for me. 
Waiting for the Show Floor to open
One of the events I signed up for was a Crop Thursday evening.  It was billed as offering “Make and Takes” throughout the evening.  I took that to mean that vendors would be stationed around the room and you could visit (or not) at your own pace and see first hand, what they were doing.  That, however, wasn’t their plan! Let me set the stage.  Cavernous space half the size of a football field with a bare concrete floor and a high, high beamed ceiling with no sound absorption baffling to be found. An hour into the Crop they fired up the Public Address system and announced the first class, at least I think that’s what they did. The sound was SO bad I could understand about every fourth word. It wasn’t just me, my table mates couldn’t understand either and looking around the room I saw lots of other crafters either ignoring the racket and trying to complete the project on their own or not doing it at all.  I chose to not do it at all.  Honestly, I took a look at the make-and-takes they provided in the kit I was given and wasn’t inspired, Some had directions printed with them, some didn’t. The papers used weren’t new and the projects not that innovative. I decided to just work on the project I had brought with me but that didn’t last long either. Between Make-N-Takes they played Bingo!  Couldn’t hear the numbers and they didn’t play a whole game, just filled in the time before the next project. After about an hour and a half, I packed up and took my newly acquired headache with me.

Friday I wandered the hall looking at Vendor Booths.  There were lots and lots of stamping supplies, very little paper and only a handful of it new. I was also disappointed at prices. With the exception of Close-outs on items that were at least a few seasons old, there were not a lot of Show Specials where product was concerned. 
One of Melissa Francis' Kits, so sweet!

The one highlight of the show floor was the Melissa Francis Booth.  It was beautifully decorated with lots of projects from her line. I was beginning to explore and take pictures for inspiration (it was allowed at this booth) when Melissa Francis came up and introduced herself! Wow! I mean, Holy Cow, WOW! We talked. Actually, she talked, I was tongue-tied! She even invited me to her CHA Party this July in Las Vegas!  I was SO flustered, I forgot to get a picture of us together! Her booth was filled with all of her new line and it was all half-off!  So many goodies and it all went into my bag. I watched her demo and took away lots of inspiration and a few new techniques and uses for her product.  That alone made Friday worthwhile.
Inspiring, right?
My other find of the day was a booth that was demo-ing Ten Second Studio’s new VerDay Paints. If you haven’t seen this paint in action, head over to their website and watch some of their videos. The line is designed to give a worn, patina look. Paint chipboard with copper paint, let it dry, and spritz it with the VerDay Patina wash. Leave it alone for a few hours and you have the look of aged copper, so cool! The kit I bought has bottles of Brass, Copper, Bronze and Iron. I can’t wait to get home and play!

The show floor
I also attended a few workshops and the one I was looking forward to really didn’t live up to it’s name. Class title was Latest and Greatest – Products and it was a lecture class with the latest products being highlighted.  No real products, just a Power Point presentation at the front of the room, which I wouldn’t have minded if the colors had been true and the products new! It was probably half my fault. I signed up for the class in March assuming that they’d be up to date in what they were showcasing.  Here’s an example of my disappointment.  Showcased for Graphic 45 were Place In Time, Secret Garden and Kraft Reflections, not even a mention of the French Country Collection. One of the lines showcased for Authentique was Renew. Hello! It’s been out long enough for me to design and teach a class using the paper – last month! 
Oh well.  I’ll take away the good things and move on.  One highlight from the hotel - it's undergone a renovation since the last time I visited.  One of the new venues is Wreckers Sports Bar. One whole wall is dedicated to ten televisions screens, two of them oversized, showing ten different sporting events. Insane! I had dinner there saturday night and watched The Kentucky Derby, two baseball games, two hockey games, a NASCAR race, The Bulls playoff game (boo!), a golf match and a college Softball game. Wow, is all I can say!
Ten, count "um, TEN!

Today I’m headed to Epcot for the Flower Show and then up to The Villages for a class at She Scrapbooks.  More on that in the next post. Stay tuned!