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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

another She Art girl....

I can finally share the second She Art Girl that I made several weeks ago!  This one was made for my dear sister-in-law and we were lucky enough to hand-deliver it to her in Wisconsin last week.  I can't even begin to share with you how much I am enjoying making these girls!  I am so grateful to Christy Tomlinson for teaching us how to make them and I can't wait to make more! ;-)

Each time I make one, I seem to learn a new technique that I've never tried before.  Doing mixed media art is so much fun and I honestly the part that I like the best is getting my fingers in there and getting them all covered with paint and glue!  
The only thing that I have discovered that I don't enjoy is waiting for things to dry! lol  These projects have really been testing my patience.  I guess that's good, because I'm not known for having any patience at all.  Guess I had better invest in a new heat gun.  Mine died last year and I never replace it yet.  Better start looking for Hobby Lobby, Michaels or JoAnn coupons! lol  Now, I just need to decide which girl to make next........and what phrase I want to much fun!

God Bless and I hope you make time to be creative today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sewing for baby.....flannel blankets

I had a lot of fun sewing for my little guy, Elliot.  I was a regular in JoAnn's fabric buying fun, boy-themed flannels!  I took advantage of every sale and coupon.  I have to say that the receiving blankets that you buy in the stores are horrible!  I do have several of them from when my other children were babies, but I used them more as burp cloths than to wrap my baby up in.  They are just too small and most of the time the flannel is not soft.  So, I did a lot of googling and I found some neat free tutorials on how to make my own flannel, receiving blankets for Elliot.  

Here are the blankets that I made:
These are raw edge receiving blankets and I found this tutorial at Sew Much Ado.  I LOVE these blankets!  They are a nice, big size and they are two layers of flannel, so they are super snuggly and warm.  Plus, look at what happens after you wash them several times.....
Isn't that fun?  

These came together real easy!  I honestly didn't even measure my fabrics.  I layered the two fabrics together and trimmed the raw edges straight so they were the same size.  The tutorial has you cut the fabrics to 40"x40".  My blankets are rectangles since I didn't cut the fabric.  I wish that I had made more than two of these, because I use them every day.

I think Elliot likes them, too......

Here are the other blankets that I made:
These are made from a single layer of flannel and have a flannel binding on them.  I found the tutorial for these at Bolt Neighborhood.  I didn't measure these either.  I just folded the fabric and evened up the raw edges with my long, plastic sewing ruler and rotary cutter.  I absolutely love these blankets, too.  The are nice and big, cuddly and cute!  These took a little longer to sew, because of the binding, but are still easy and fairly quick to finish.

Elliot is doing some serious thinking here....probably about how much he loves being cuddled up in these blankets!

I haven't been able to sew since he's been born, but I'm hoping to find some time to soon.  I'd really like to start sewing up some summer clothes for my 3-year old daughter.  Not to mention create all of the other fun things that are on my "to make" list!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful day!
Take care and God Bless!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My word.....

In the previous years, I've seen posts by
Ali Edwards about choosing a word.  Here is what she said about it on her blog back in January 2007:

"Last year I began a tradition of chosing one word for myself each January – a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. Last year my word was something I wanted to bring into my life in a more tangible way."- Ali Edwards

I really love this idea and this year, thanks to my joining in on the Art Journal Caravan, I was really inspired to choose a word and do creative projects that focus on it.  Our first assignment was to choose a word and do an art journal page about it.  (By the way, it's never too late to join in on the fun there, because this lasts all year long!)  I had already kind of picked a word last year, even though I never went any farther than that, so I knew right away which word I wanted to choose to focus on for 2011.  I chose the word "discipline".  I know that to a lot of people that probably doesn't seem like too fun of a word! lol  But, discipline isn't a bad word at all, because it can be applied to so many different areas of my life.  Number one to me, and where I really, really need it the most, is to be more disciplined in my faith.  My family has really been through a horrible past few years dealing with some of the bad choices my oldest daughter has made and I took most of it very personally.  Not like she was doing it against me, but more so because I am her mother, I raised her, her actions are a reflection of me, etc.....ugh.....having teenagers is so hard and life in the real world is so hard for teenagers as well.   I am ashamed to admit that I let all of those hard times pull me away from God rather than run to Him for help and comfort.  And, worst yet, this whole time I can hear myself saying, "Run to Him, things will get better!" but I still don't!  I've been wallowing in my sorry and shame, instead of asking for forgiveness and starting over.  He's always there to take me back and forgive, why am I still sitting here doing nothing?  So, I need discipline in my spiritual life badly!  There are also several other areas where I want to work on discipline, so I listed them all on the digital layout that I created.  They include: faith, heath, fitness, parenting, creativity and just being happy.  I know that I could easily add more, too! 

I have to share with you that this is my first ever digital art journaling page.  Well, it's my first art journaling page, period.  I really struggled with it at first, too.  I have been scrapbooking for so many years and I kept feeling myself wanting to create a scrapbook page.  I'm not sure if I can explain the difference between the two, but I wanted this to be more free and not contrived.   I've worked on several more art journal pages for our Caravan assignments and I'm getting a lot better expressing myself freely and creatively and I am really enjoying it!  These pages are for me and me alone and it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to show/say what I want and feel.  It's been very freeing! lol

Well, before my little one wakes up (he's starting to stir, so my time is running out!)....let me just say that the Art Journal Caravan is incredible!  I don't mean to be trying to sell you on another thing, I know yesterday's post was all about the She-Art Workshop that I'm taking right now.....but I just can't help telling you how amazing these two classes are!  The Art Journal Caravan last all year and it's full of inspiring prompts and projects!  Tangie Baxter has done some awesome things for this!  The weekly and monthly prompts and projects have really inspired me to create and journal and I'm learning so much about mixed media, both digitally and on paper, etc.  I'll be sharing more of my art journal pages and projects throughout the year. ;-)

Okay, my time is up! lol  I hope you all have a wonderful day!
God Bless,

Monday, March 14, 2011

My first She Art Girl!

Hello and long time no blog!  I've been busy spending all of my time snuggling my little guy.  I know that I need to snuggle him as much as I can, because they grow up so fast.  Plus, he's just really cuddly! lol

I have a really hard time making free time for myself, but a few weeks ago I stumbled upon Christy Tomlinson's blog and saw her post about a class she was having this month.  I have to admit, that the first thing that pulled me in was the picture she had made just to promote the class.  I loved the colors and the feel to it.  I can't really explain it.  I am such a visual person, like almost to the point to where it controls me. lol  So, once I saw that picture with the colors and the girl.....I just couldn't get it out of my mind.

So, I kept going back to her page and reading about the class and drooling over the amazing mixed media art girls that she was creating.  I probably did this for a couple of weeks!  Then, one day, I finally told myself to just do it!  Sign up!  And to do it for ME.  I haven't been spending hardly any time being creative lately and I miss it.  I miss it deep down inside and it was starting to almost make me depressed.    I spent several months at the end of last year doing tons of sewing, but this is different and I knew that it was something that I needed to do for myself.   So I did!

And, I am loving every single minute of it!  We are just starting Week 3 today.  I have mixed emotions about it, because it's our last week  of the workshop but we are also going to learn how to make a girl that looks like us.  I can't express how much I am enjoying this class.  First of all, I'm on a pretty limited crafty budget and this class is so inexpensive.  I couldn't believe it when I saw that it was only $30.  I have passed up on workshop after workshop just because they were so expensive and right now in my life I can't justify spending a lot on something like that.   If you're a crafty/scrapbooking person you probably already have a lot of the supplies needed to make your own girl.  I did need to go purchase some acrylic paints but you don't need anything fancy, so I got the cheap paints and brushes at Michael's.   I have to admit that I've gone out and bought some other fun supplies, because I just couldn't resist. lol

Now, since I haven't ever done an online workshop like this before, I had no idea what to expect or anything to compare it to.  But, I feel sorry for any other class that I take after this, because I have been nothing but totally impressed with everything that Christy has done!  She is such sweet, honest, and caring person.....and I feel like I'm right there talking with her during the videos.   The webpage that she has set up for the workshop is so well organized, the videos where she teaches you how to make the girls are amazing (oh all of the techniques she shows you are incredible!!!), she has patterns for you to print and use, there's a message board where you can meet, chat and ask questions  to other workshop participants and Christy.....I could go on and on!  Oh, and there is a Flickr group where everyone can share their awesome girls and get inspiration!  I could go on and on, but I'll stop rambling about it and just say that if you want to learn something new, that's totally fun and really easy, express your creativity, meet some wonderfully talented and nice people, then TAKE THIS CLASS!  ;-)

My only regret is that I have not been able to spend enough time meeting everyone in the community board.   I just don't have the time to sit and read/reply to the messages there. :-(  But, I'm hoping to try to more these next couple of months.  Oh, that's the other wonderful thing that I forgot to mention.  Even though the workshop is over in 3 weeks, Christy is being so generous by leaving the site active for us so that we can view all of the videos, PDF's, chat in the community board and share our creations in the Flickr group!  This is such a huge blessing for me, because I wasn't even able to start on my first girl until the second week of the workshop had started.  So, you aren't rushed and have plenty of time to watch the videos, learn the techniques, create your own girls and share!

So, now that I've talked your ears off about this.....I'll show you my first She Art Girl.   I named her Lucy. ;-)
I was so excited to get started on her that I actually did some of the steps in the wrong order.  lol  But, you can't even tell because this is such a fun and creative way to make art!  I thought long and hard about what I wanted my saying to be and I finally decided on, "She is discovering herself through art."  I chose this, because this past month I have decided that it's way past time for me to really find myself and embrace what makes me, me!  I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost 20 years and I have loved every second of it, but I have also let it take over a lot of the other things that I love, that define me.  I always tell myself and others that "I'm just a mom".  Well, I'm realizing that I'm not!  The most important thing that keeps me going is being creative.  And, I've really pushed that aside to be a full-time mom.  For some reason I forgot that I can be both!  That both are equally important to me and I'm only hurting my true self by ignoring my need to be creative.  And, what has really started to open my mind to this and let the light in was deciding to take this class!  I never thought that I could do anything like this.  I haven't ever been sure enough in my own creativity.  I have this mean, little voice in the back in my head that has always told me and that I have quoted to others, "You are really good at copying people, but you can't think up creative ideas on your own."  I still struggle with that every day, but Christy and her workshop have helped give me my own voice to say, "I AM creative!" I can't say it as boldly as I want to, but I'm working on that..... ;-)
So, I hope that you consider joining Christy in April for her next She Art Girl Workshop.  You won't be disappointed!  I promise!  And, I will be sharing another on of my girls next week.  She's actually a surprise for someone special and I get to deliver it soon.  ;-)  

Take care and God Bless!

p.s......It took me all day to write this post, in-between dirty diapers, nursing and cuddling for naps, plus chasing around a 3-year old, so I'm sorry for any and all type-o's and other goofy mistakes that I probably made while writing this. lol