Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts => AWESOME!!!

I recently discovered the Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts.  Oh. What. Fun.  I spent yesterday morning playing with it, (and my kids were all at my elbows trying to help - but can you blame them?  It's so FUN!) and I had this great idea.  When I was cleaning up my craft room - a never-ending process - I found a Moleskine journal - but it's some kind of special one, a Japanese fold one I think it was called when I bought it months ago?  Anyway, only the first page is connected to the hard cover, and then all the rest of them are accordion folded down from that first one, back and forth, back and forth.  Every once in a while, you can see a little lip of paper where one sheet is glued to the next sheet, and they just keep folding back and forth.  There is a pocket in the back, on the back cover.

Anyway...I thought it might be fun, to try to print the pages of this Moleskine journal with the Gelli plate - it's almost exactly the right size as the 8x10 plate, when opened flat - and make myself an art journal that would be ready to journal in.

I got started and WOW, it was SO fun I didn't want to stop...but I had to...because I had a physical therapy appointment.  And it's probably good that I did...because otherwise I probably would have sat there ALL day long and wouldn't have been able to move or walk when I went to get up at the end of the day!

The picture above is my "mop-up" page...the page I used to lift whatever paint was left on the plate after I did my main print.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

This page is a "ghost-print," and I am in love with how it turned out!!!  After you've done several prints on the Gelli plate, you end up with some built-up "ghost" images, or dry paint on the plate.  You *COULD* just spray it with water and wipe it off with a towel - but WHY would you do that??  Instead, from the videos I've watched, everyone recommends using white or off-white (like Titan Buff) paint to lift the paint.  Well, I wanted to try something a little different.  I had a LOT of this teal color on the plate, and I thought some light gold would look nice with it.  So I covered my plate with a mixture of gold and titan buff paint, put my paper down, rubbed, lifted, and this is the beautiful image I got!  I tried to get the photos to show the beautiful gold shimmer - I hope you can see it!!  Photos really don't do it justice!

Now for the journal pages...I'm truly having a BLAST working on them!!!  I can't wait until the entire book is finished!  It's going to be SO fun to work in!!!

On this first page, you can see bits of large bubble wrap, lines from a wood-grain texture plate, bits of punchinella here and there, and a mop-up print of several stencils, including a chevron pattern.

Here you can see more of the giant bubble wrap, lots of other textures, and a bit of a ghost print on the top layer.

On this page, the first layer included several small-scale stencils with a mixture of blue and pearl craft paints.  The second layer (though it almost looks like the first layer!) used a large-scale stencil with a couple colors of fluid acrylics.

This one started with a stenciled layered of teal-turquoise fluid acrylics.  Then there was a partial ghost print, and finally a layer of purple and yellow which I allowed the kids to play in.  They used silicon texture brushes by Princeton to smear and mark in the paint on the plate...they had a great time!  I think I'm going to have to get a couple more plates just for the kids to play with - or I'll NEVER have mommy-play-time anymore!!

I love how this print turned out.  It's one layer of fluid acrylics.  I used shelf liner to get the ridges across the top; a foam stamp for the flowers; punchinella for the circles; feathers across the lower right; and I just LOVE how well the stamp of the 3 gentleman in top-hats showed up!!!

Finally - this is the last page I got done yesterday.  I used 2" letter stencils and laid them down backwards on the plate so that they would show up properly on the journal page; and I used a circular stencil.  The smaller circles were made with a large lego block, and you can see more shelf-liner ridges. I used a bit of magic mesh in a couple places too.  

Now, some of these pages may be done, and others may still get additional layers added...that's the fun of the Gelli plate - it is just SO easy and fast and fun to make great backgrounds!!!  Oh, and the plate comes in 3 sizes - I have the middle size, 8x10".  (And no, I'm not getting paid to say any of this, and no, I didn't get my Gelli plate free or anything!  LOL!!)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Beloved Author's Birthday!!

On December 30, American award-winning author Mercer Mayer will celebrate his 69th birthday.  He has written and illustrated over 300 children's books, and his best known character appeared in the 1975 book, "Just For You."  He is best known for his "Little Critter" and "Little Monster" series of books.

Says Mercer about his books, "Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid.  Now that I'm a big kid, I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children and grandchildren.  They always remind me of what it is like to be little."

In honor of Mr. Mercer's birthday, Silver Dolphin Books are offering a free autographed copy of "Snowball Soup" for one of my readers!!!  Snowball Soup is a “My First I Can Read” book for readers ages 4 and up (paperback).  A fun winter-themed book that ties so well into this festive time of year—join Little Critter, Little Sister, and Dog as they make their new friend the snowman a tasty treat—Snowball soup! 
PLUS, in January, they are releasing their very first app about Little Critter - Mercer Mayer's Little Critter: The Trip.  The app is being developed by Silver Dolphin Books, together with award-winning app-developer John R. Sansevere.  

In Little Critter: The Trip, you will be able to take an action-packed car trip with Little Critter, Little Sister, Mom and Dad in which everything imaginable happens—literally—from A to Z, in this fun-filled interactive app!  “is for bad” when the “is for tire” goes flat!  And “is for lost” when where did the “is for road” go?  Little Critters’ trip is full of humorous ups and downs like the actual road they’re following!  It’s up to you and Little Critter to help find the way, fix the car when it breaks down, and play lots of fun “is for games” with Little Sister to pass the time!  Kids learn along with Little Critter as, true to his nature, he cheers you on to scale new heights!

For more information about the coming app, Littler Critter: The Trip, check out the Silver Dolphins Book blog, where you can sign up for their newsletter to keep up to date on the latest information.

To be entered into the giveaway for the free, autographed copy of Mr. Mercer's book, "Snowball Soup," please leave a comment below.  For extra entries, "like" Silver Dolphin Books on Facebook, and/or Follow@SilverDolphin on twitter, and leave a second comment here letting me know you've done so.  I will draw a winner on January 7!  Good luck!


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Stenciled Plate

A week and a half ago, I took one of my 4 year old twins on a mommy-daughter date.  She had been feeling left out of things for a while...her twin sister and her older brother have both been going to occupational therapy for a few months now (for their Sensory Processing Disorder), and while it truly is *work* for them, to her...well, it just looks like she's missing out on all the fun!  She peers through the glass on the door at the O.T. office, and sees the big gym, with the giant therapy balls, the multiple types of therapy swings, the rope ladder, the tunnel slides, the ball pit, the mats everywhere, all the bright colors...and she just thinks she is somehow getting the short end of the deal.

Thus her special day was born.  I love that my daughter shares my love of art, and so our first and longest stop of the day was at a local "paint your own pottery" place.  She had never done this before, and I wasn't sure how she would do.  True to her personality, she struggled with taking direction from the store owner...she is fiercely independent and wanted to do it her OWN way.  She chose to paint a 2-part cupcake - one with a top and a bottom, which she can hide her tiny treasures in.

I had a hard time choosing my own piece, but finally settled on a large plate.  I had some ideas about what I might want to do - but the owner looked at me a little bit strangely when I set my things down on the table and pulled out about 30 stencils (mostly from The Crafter's Workshop!) and started rifling through them trying to decide which to use.  She acted as if she'd never seen a stencil before!  I finally decided on my stencil, and picked my colors of paint.  Then when I told her I thought I would use a make-up sponge to apply the paint, she REALLY disagreed vehemently...practically said it just wasn't going to work.  She kept telling me how "different" this was than other kinds of painting.  And she just didn't see how I was going to manage the stencil with the plate.  She also wanted me to apply the paint to the sponge with the paint brush, rather than dipping the sponge in the paint and tapping it off, which is what I wanted to do.  Because I try to be cooperative, I gave that a try...and it did NOT I went straight to the way I learned from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer...dip the sponge into the paint, then dab it off on a paper, then apply the paint to the stencil.  It worked just fine!  I thought it was so funny how she kept being so discouraging and seemed so rigid about how things had to be done!

Anyway, today I went and picked up my plate...and I just LOVE how it turned out!  When the owner asked which projects I was picking up, I told her "a plate and a cupcake."  She asked which plate it was, and I said, "The one with the peacock feathers."  There was another lady there who said, "OH, the beautiful one!"  The owner, however, said nothing...just brought it to me.  Ha ha...I think she's still holding a grudge against me for using a stencil and a makeup sponge!

The stencil I used is Peacock Feathers, a Balzer Designs stencil made by The Crafter's Workshop.  It is available in both 6"x6" and 12"x12" (which is what I used).  If you've never checked out the stencils from TCW, you MUST - they have TONS of fabulous designs...I can't stop collecting them!  Seriously, though, I used their stencils several times a week in my art journals, or on canvases, on scrapbook pages, on tags...on plates...LOL.  And they have some incredible new ones coming out really soon - check out their blog

{My daughter loved her cupcake much so that the minute we got home, she rushed it up to her room before I could even get a picture of it, and now the girls are sleeping...and I'm not about to wake them up!  So hopefully I can add a pic of her cupcake later!}

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inky Thoughts

Do you have a lot of mists and spray inks?  Do you know how to use them?  Or do you have them sitting on a shelf, because you're not quite sure what they do or how they act?  Well...I have a LOT of mists and ink sprays, and I love using them...but I wasn't always sure of their know, how they might interact with each other, or how they would react to water.  So I spent an entire day just playing around, getting to know them - and this lovely pile of colorful tags is the result!  

I wrote out DETAILED results of my play time over at Craft Test Dummies - and you definitely should go check it out!!  I think you will be surprised by some of what I learned!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Real Life.

I have not blogged about my family in a long time.  Oh - what's that you say?  I haven't blogged, period?  Holy smokes, you are right!  Yikes!  It's been since February!  Well, that's just not okay.  So here's the deal.  I'm going to stop waiting for the perfect project, with the perfectly edited photos...because I just don't have time...and you'll have to give me grace for that.  And in return, I'm gonna blog more.  But it's not just going to be about my crafty projects...though I have been making a LOT of art lately...LOTS.  It's just that I've been living a lot of LIFE lately too.  And, well, they sort of go hand in hand.  So if you want one, I guess you're gonna get them both!  ;)

So let's see if I can give you a sort of mostly photos...of what we've been up to!  (In no particular order...that would be WAY too much work!  LOL) 

I had a blast at CHA, and it was so fun to meet in person some cool peeps who've had a major influence on my artistic life and so much Christy Tomlinson!

Anthony continues to home school, though more often than not these days, he refuses to do his work.  It's all part of his struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder, among other issues.  I'll definitely be blogging more about this, because it affects all three of my children, though he and Mackenzie the most, by far.  Seen here, he's playing on my iPad, which he LOVES doing!  I was bribing him...15 minutes school work, 15 minutes iPad, and so on...LOL.

Mackenzie and Makayla have grown up SO much.  This was at a recent park play date, when Mackenzie borrowed a scooter from a friend.  She hasn't mastered it, but she sure loves trying.

Couldn't remember if I'd posted these before or not, but when I went to CHA, all the members of the Craft Test Dummies team exchanged homemade gifts.  I made hand-bound journals...the first I've ever made.  It was super fun, and I'll definitely do it again!  Each one was mad with different materials and bound differently.

This is a canvas I made around Valentine's Day, inspired by project I saw in an email from Somerset/Stampington.  Wax paper hearts, stitched with bits of vintage music sheets, vintage linens, glassine paper...stamped...and attached to a decoupaged canvas with cute mini wooden clothespins and jute string.

We've been SUPER blessed to have found Sensory Time, a local indoor play place that is specially designed for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other disabilities.  We have gotten a membership here - and the kids LOVE this place!!!  It's everything their little sensory-seeking bodies desire!

And when we're stuck at home, I try my best to find sensory-related activities to help keep them occupied and making a swing on the bunk bed!

My nephew and his new wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and my kids absolutely ADORE her.  They had fun oohing and ah-ing over her when she came to visit for the first time!

I was elated to find a WORKING 1923 Remington Portable typewriter at a local antique shop and plan to use it for bits and pieces on art, scrapbooking and journal related projects.

More bunk-bed swing fun - flying fairies, anyone?

VERY occasionally, Anthony will sit down and actually do some school work...but these times are getting increasingly fewer and farther between.  Trust me...there will be more posts about this!

I've developed a love not only for Instagram, but for tiny pottery bowls to use for storing artsy embellishments.  Sigh.  These beauties are from Anthropologie...another love!

Park days are a big hit, and we've tried to soak up as many as possible while the weather's been cool...for I know the summer heat is fast approaching!

My husband and I had the pleasure of participating in a fantastic surprise party for a dear friend.  She's been having a rough time lately, and this show of love from her friends was just the boost she needed.  Oh - and I got a hair cut.  A real one.  From an actual hair stylist, at an actual salon!  (This is a big deal...I usually just chop my own hair, or pull it back in a pony!)

{And how fun is it to actually have a pic of me and hubby?!  These are rare!}

Did I mention that we visit Sensory Time regularly?  LOL  Not only do they have stuff for when my kids are bouncing off the walls and need BIG activity stuff like balls and swings, but they also have lots of fine motor activities for them too!  I am so happy that THEY are so happy there!

My dad was staying with us from just before Christmas through the latter part of March.  This was a feeble attempt to get a decent photo of him with my kids...who refused to cooperate.  Oh well.  We had a fun day in Old Town Temecula anyway!

I've been doing LOTS of art activities with the kids - and I cannot even begin to tell you how happy it makes me that they are not only old enough now to really participate, but that they all 3 seem to really ENJOY art!!  I give them pretty much free reign of a large selection of products...various forms of paint, watercolor crayons, water-soluble gel sticks, paint brushes, watercolor paper, mixed media art journals, colored pencils, crayons galore, markers in various forms, modeling clay (including really cool glitter modeling clay that even smells good!), paper of all kinds, scissors, collage journals, glue...they've got it made!

I also re-did our bedroom.  We got a new bed frame, new mattress set, and so I felt the need to get a new comforter cover and pillows, and a great new lamp.  (The curtains on the wall are old...not sure what I'm going to do with them.)

I got a new camera - not a DSLR - but way better than my old one...a Canon Powershot SX something something...I forget the letters and numbers!  LOL  All I know is that it has the ability to do manual stuff as well as a bazillion programmed things...and I'm still trying to figure it out!  This was me trying to do the bathroom-mirror photo!  Ha!

I re-did my craft room, for the second year in a row, and as part of that, I found some cool new storage options.  This rotating bin is from Harbor Freight and cost only $20 - and holds a TON of spray inks, paint daubers, Distress Stains, tools, etc.  I LOVE IT!

I bought my hubby a total surprise - just because - no birthday, no holiday - just because.  An IPhone 4s.  Actually, I got one for both of us, and we LOVE them.  We've turned into Mac people...iPhones, iPads, and I have a Macbook Pro now - and I couldn't be happier!

Have been having fun getting some great happy mail!  So much fun!

Mackenzie's fine motor skills aren't great, and her scissor skills are rather poor especially.  I was so impressed to find these great scissors by Faber Castell at one of my local JoAnn's - she loves them, and they really help her!

Um, speaking of Mackenzie...I mentioned the Sensory Processing Disorder and the fine motor skills.  She also still lags behind in speech...and she just does some rather, well, odd things.  I couldn't help myself - I had to take this picture.  I went in to check on her one night to see if she'd gone to sleep - and she had...but apparently her princess dolls needed to hang from their hair over her for the night...their hair tucked into onto of the cross-frames from her sister's bunk bed above her!  LOL  Gotta love that girl!

I mentioned my craft room remodel.  My dad and hubby closed in the wall pass-throughs that went from my room to the family room, and built shelves in them - GENIUS.  We also got several cabinets from Lowe's which they put together for me...and I'm SUPER DUPER happy with how everything came together!!!  And yes, I've been keeping it up after my projects!

Here the kids are at LAX, waiting...though they had NO IDEA they were waiting for Jeremiah and Shelia to arrive!  It was such a great surprise for them to have a visit from them!!  We hadn't seen him since he left just before the new year.  It's been a hard grieving process...but I have to say, God's timing is perfect, and I *needed* to focus on my own kids' needs...and Shelia is doing a FANTASTIC job being Jeremiah's mom!!!  I'm so thankful that we get to continue to be a part of his life, but I'm also so thankful that we were able to provide HER with the opportunity to be his mom!

I mean, seriously, how cute is he?!

Jeremiah enjoyed Sensory Time as well...he nearly fell asleep on one of the therapy swings, he was so relaxed!

Mackenzie, on top of the dome climber at Sensory Time.

See?  I really *have* been making art!  A tag I made for a Liquid Pearls review over at Craft Test Dummies.

 Sooo cute...Makayla snuggling with Jeremiah on the floor during his visit.  They just love him SO much!

Did I mention I have developed a slight addiction to washi tape?

I finally put curtains up in the girls' room.  They LOVE them...when they're not trying to pull them down.  The pink ones actually block out all the light when they're closed, but the purple ones are glittery.  So pretty!

This is a truly amazing photo.  My kids have been terrified of dogs, cats, bugs...pretty much any living creature besides humans...for forever.  But last week at a homeschool group park play date, the girls just decided they were going to make friends with this little dog who belonged to one of the other families.  OH, how sweet it was!!!

More evidence of art!!

I even made homemade strawberry freezer jam - sooo yummy!

Last Friday, my friends Tamekia and Valerie took me for a spa day.  The funny thing is that they had promised me this spa day if I survived our family cross-country trip 2 summers ago!  LOL  Hey, better late than never, right?!  It was super fun and relaxing!!

My biggest little artist...she's always trying to sit at my desk and touch my art supplies.  "Oh, this is SOOO beautiful, mommy!"  But I think you can see from the look on her face that she's not so innocent!

A canvas I made this week, using one of the monthly kit clubs I've joined.  It is seriously so much fun to receive happy mail every month!!!

Anthony on his 7th birthday - cannot believe how big he's getting!  What you can't see in this pic is that before I got the cake frosted, I had set it in the garage to cool off more quickly...and Mackenzie had snuck out there and literally put her fist in the cake and grabbed a fistful!!!  Sigh.  Did I mention my kids have Sensory Processing Disorder??

The kids have a new fascination with painting the little $1 wooden birdhouses from Michaels and JoAnn's...I say, "Hey, why not?"  It's cheap and it keeps them occupied.  And it's a great sensory activity!

Anthony finally lost his first tooth last week.  It was a big deal.  He was pretty excited about the $2 the tooth fairy left him.  What happened to the quarters I used to receive??

My hubby, working away...if he's not working at work, he's working at home...either doing work work or house work.  Poor guy!

Another pic of the girls making up with the dog.   It really was fascinating and wonderful to watch.  

Makayla must have more facial expressions than any of my children.  I think it's her eyebrows!  LOL  And those killer big eyes!

I've got lots more fun stuff to review for Craft Test Dummies - including these new Spectrum Noir alcohol markers by Crafter's Companion/Darice.  I've been having fun playing with them!

My hubby tore out the carpet in the front room and replaced it with laminate flooring this past weekend.  LOVE it!  He plans to eventually do the spare bedroom and our bedroom as well...seriously cannot wait!!!  He's turning this room into a t.v./reading room.

Okay - I know that was fast, and long, at the same time.  I promise I will go into MUCH more detail about some of the issues and things I brought up in this post...but I hope this gives you at least a glimpse into what I've been doing for the past couple months!!

I have a book I'm reading right now - Life Moments for Women - and will be posting a review soon too...keep an eye out for that!  It's a really fantastic collaborative of stories of a wonderful group of California women and what they identified as "life moments," or changing points in their lives.  For more info NOW, check out their FB page!

Til next time, keep creating, and remember to do the things that matter most!


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