Friday, May 30, 2014

The journey of motherhood

I have an art journal page to share today.  I've had this package of canvas ATC sized tags for a while and haven't used them for anything for fear of messing them up. Sound familiar to you (I tend to do this a lot with supplies).  I decided to just go for it today and paired this Baby and Me-Kate's Silhouettes by Unity Stamp Co with this great sentiment Strong Woman.  I sketched the scene and stamped these sweet cypress looking trees (Unity's Bella Trees).  I watercolored the image and the edges of my tag and adhered it with a gel medium. 

Here is a close up of the canvas tag.  It isn't showing up so well in the photograph but it did stamp really well and is much easier to read in real life.  It says: A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.

My children have given me more strength than I ever knew I was capable of, just one more reason that I love them with all my heart!
I am linking this up with Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes.

Teacher you're an A+

It's almost the end of the school year and that means special thank you's for the teachers.  Luckily I didn't wait until the last minute this year like I usually do and thanks to this fabulous Jen Girl stamp by Unity Stamp Co my cards practically made themselves!
 I even finished the inside of the card with the Bitty Itty Bitty, A+ Teacher.
June is going to be one BUSY month for me with end of the school year shenanigans, a 5th birthday to celebrate, a 1st birthday to celebrate and several other events.  I am just hoping to fit some crafting time in there too!
I am linking this up to Unity's Friends With Flair.  Every Friday they have a linky party and give out free stamps to one participant and also one commenter.  So comment away, you could just win some free stamps out of it!
I'm also linking this to Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Simple Things

It is the sweet simple things of life which are the real ones after all  --Laura Ingalls Wilder

I think this is so very true.  One of my best memories of my dad stems from a spring morning when he woke me up and without telling me where we were going took me for a walk back into our woods (we lived in the country) and after a while of walking quietly we came to some heavy brush and he moved it aside and there on the forest floor was a sleeping fawn who couldn't have been more than a few days old.  It was beautiful to see such a miracle of nature up close in it's element.
All stamps used are Unity Stamp Co.  So & So Loves (tree background), A Magical Season (fawn) and sentiment from Rockin' It Unity Style (March 2010 KOTM).  I used distress markers for the coloring and inking on the background and fawn and I blended the fawn a little more with some watercolors.
I am entering this card in the Mountain Plains Crafters Lawn Fawn challenge to use a lawn and/or fawn on your project.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today is a perfectly fabulous day to celebrate...YOU!

WINNER TIME!!!  I have a winner picked from my Friday FWF post and a card to share as well.  The card was a quick watercolor card using Unity's Imperfection Is Beauty and a sentiment from Unity's Everything Wonderful.
I love this sentiment and you could use it for so much.
Now time for a winner!  I used and it spit an 11 out at me and that comment was from:
VERY lovely! How smart to stamp on washi...never thought of that! Following your blog. :)
May 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Contact me with your info and I will send you out your grab bag of stamps right away!
Thank you all for the lovely comments and new follows on both my blog and Facebook page.  I hope you ALL know that TODAY IS A PERFECTLY FABULOUS DAY TO CELEBRATE YOU!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Birdie duet

I am learning that sometimes a page comes together fairly quickly and everything just works out in a way that makes me smile.  That was this page (quite the relief after my last page).  I only had a short amount of time to play during naptime today and was able to make this page from start to finish (with a heat gun used for drying between stages).
I started with some gelatos (orange, yellow and some pink) scribbled onto the page and then used a wet brush to move and blend (my first success with this technique).  After drying that I used some Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and sponged it over a stencil (Heidi Swapp Confetti).  Then I stamped a border stamp (Dylysions Around the Edge) around the edge and used another stamp from that set inked up with some Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and stamped randomly.  I then grabbed another stencil (DCWV) and applied gesso over it in a few spots.  I stamped She Script (Unity Stamp Co) up in the right hand corner and then got an idea to use some pretty chipboard birds from Melody Ross (which I applied with a gel medium) and found this perfect bird cage stamp set from Unity Stamp Co called Birdie Duet.
I used a white gel pen to detail around the birds on the cage and a Pitt Pen to detail around the chipboard birds.  After that I called it finished.  I am still unsure about when a page is "done" but I called this one done when the kids woke up from nap. 
Thanks for visiting and happy crafting!

Choose Joy (and a lesson in moving on)

I am still super new to mixed media and this page was something of a trial and error (mostly error) to me.  I had painted over the background at least 3 times to cover up errors and was finally just stuck with this turquoisey-blue page sitting on my table for days.  I was pretty angry at it and finally just decided to finish it quickly so I could move on so I grabbed the first stamp I could get my hands on which happened to be Choose Joy (irony!) by Unity Stamp Co and stamp it over and over as a background.  I kinda liked that and then used a chevron stencil (Heidi Swapp) with a white paint dabber to add some interest and then I had this pretty BOLD Bloom by Unity Stamp Co that I had been playing with as a distraction (colored with Dylysions sprays) and I used a gel medium to adhere it to my page.  I probably could have done more to finish it but I was just ready to move on to another creation by this point.
I don't love it (or even really like it) but I am happy that I finished it and have moved on to the next page with a lesson or two learned.

Art Journal color explosion

I started playing in my art journal last week and it is SO, SO addictive!  I love the freedom of taking a blank page and turning it into anything I can imagine, no boundaries.

This first page came about from playing with my Dylusion ink sprays and creating a colorful background.  I stamped the Sun Frog (Paula Best stamp) onto watercolor paper and added wings (Unity Stamp Co Wings of Hope) using some clever masking and used some Dylysions to color it. 
I stamped the clouds (Unity Stamp Co Up in the Clouds) several times and then stamped the hot air balloon (Inkadinkado) over and over.  I used my white gel pen to help define the clouds and balloons.  I stamped the sentiment (Unity Stamp Co Wings of Hope) and cut out and decoupaged onto the background.  I stamped the zig-zag stars (Unity Stamp Co May 2014 SMAK) and outlined with the gel pen.  I put the frog down over that and stamped the Go Fly (Unity Stamp Co Nov 2013 SMAK) to finish the page.
The next page started with me attempting to blend my gelatos onto the paper.  I've tried this technique several times with not so good results.  Same with this one.  I spritzed it with water and took a brush to try to blend it as well but it just looked very unblended and too crazy.  In an attempt to tone it down I covered it with a layer of gesso and that seemed to make it better.  I stamped the dandelion (Unity Stamp Co Insightful Meadows) and then stamped the clouds (Unity Stamp Co June 2013 SMAK) which I colored in with watercolors.  I wrote the wishes, not weeds with a Pitt Pen as well as the journaling lines and the pollen pieces that are flying on the breeze.  I used a few border stamps to finish it off, the polka dots (Unity Stamp Co You Make My Heart Puffy) in a purple distress ink and the scroll (Unity Stamp Co You are Simply the Best) with a black archival ink and finished it off with a few doodles from my gel pen.
I am having so much fun playing with different techniques and exploring new ways to use products.  I am sure you will be seeing many more art journal/mixed media type pieces from me! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Flower Child

Friday is here and so is Friends with Flair!  I've got blog candy to give away today as well as a wild little beauty to share with you using a few different stamps and techniques.  First the card.  ;)
I inked up this beauty from Unity's Let Your Inner Beauty Shine on watercolor paper and had fun going color crazy with different shades of blues and greens.  I fussy cut her and added some little sparkly bling to her 'do.  The ikat background from Unity's You Are Simply The Best KOTM was created with gelatos applied to the stamp and spritzed with water.  The sentiment is from Unity's Whitney Girl kit and stamped onto washi tape with Staz-On.
I love the mix of colors on here and how it turned out. She is totally wild and unique! Now for the blog candy!
I just started a Facebook page for my blog yesterday and I would love it if you are on FB and could stop by and "like" it.  I have a grab bag of Unity stamps to give away today to one lucky commenter on my blog.  To qualify please be a follower of my blog and for an additional qualification like Crystal Amaris Creations on Facebook and come back and comment again to let me know you did.  I will post a winner on Tuesday.  Thank you!
Looking forward to hopping through all of your fabulous blogs and seeing what you've been up to with your Unity Stamps!  Have a happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

With a Joyful Heart

I wanted to stamp this sentiment inside of a wineglass stamp but I didn't have a stamp big enough so I sketched one!  It's a bit playful and inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.  I like CAS cards (easy to put in the mail) but even so when I finished this one it was a bit too CAS for me so I added some splashes of watercolor to the bottom to hopefully look like reflections from the glass.  I used my distress markers to color the wine glass and watercolors to color the table.  The stamp is a Bitty Itty Bitty from Unity Stamp Co.
Good advice: Drink your wine with a joyful heart.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just for you

I came across some great inspiration for a card today at the Inspired By blog.  After seeing Laurels inspiration photo I just had to run to my craft desk as soon as I could to make this! 
Here is her inspirational photo:
Isn't it pretty!?!  I too LOVE lilacs and they bring back many happy memories from my childhood of playing hide and seek with my brothers and our Quaker neighbors in our HUGE lilac bushes.  Oh, that smell is divine and whenever I see or smell lilacs I am just transported back to that magical time in my childhood and playing in the lilac bushes. 
I didn't have a lilac stamp but I did find this Penny Black brush hydrangea stamp that I inked up with my Tim Holtz distress markers and spritzed with water to blend.  I masked it and then stamped it again to look a little less lonely.  I cut it out and found some great washed wood paper to put behind it.  I stamped the sentiment (Unity Stamp Co Botanical Bliss) in Staz-on on vellum.  I think that little area is missing some kind of embellishment but until I can find the perfect one I'll just leave it alone. 

Entering this into the Inspired By #115 challenge.  Thanks for a great bit of inspiration and a happy memory to fill my head today!

Distress Markers used:  Spun Sugar, Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves, Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss.

A Lovely Day

I created this card for a challenge over at Mountain Plains Crafters.  This is a new challenge blog created by a great group of crafty ladies!  The challenge was to make a project with either a lawn or a fawn/deer.  I knew I had a deer stamp somewhere, I just had to dig for it.  Turns out I found several (and have a few works in progress to be featured later)!
The scene stamp is an old wood mount stamp from PSX stamps.  I kinda love this scene and the mama deer and her fawn looking down at the cottage.  We saw deer outside our window ALL the time growing up in the country and I miss being so close to nature.  I've never seen a deer in the sub I live in now but I was VERY excited to discover a toad in the flower bed yesterday!  If you can't tell I'm totally a child of nature and was quite the tomboy growing up.  :)
This scene is so busy that I kept the background simple.  I tried to make it look like a painting hanging on the wall.  At one point I sketched a wire to make it look like it was hanging but it didn't look right so I erased it.  The sentiment stamp is by Unity Stamp Company, they always have the BEST sentiments!
Entering this into the Mountain Plains Crafters Lawn Fawn Challenge.  Hope you all have a LOVELY day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

One precious life.

Every card I make my 4yo daughter loves and asks if it's for her.  Since I make cards out of a compulsion to create, many of them find their way back to her eventually.  It gives me a way to write her special little notes that hopefully she will keep and cherish.  It also feels good to have such a sweet fan of my work. This one I did make with her in mind.  She loves rainbows and I saw a cute card with this rainbow watercolor technique and butterflies.  I used a dragonfly stamp I had by Stampendous and the quote is by Unity Stamps.  I outlined the top dragonfly with a glitter pen for some sparkle (because 4yo's love sparkle)!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

You 3

It's been a long time since I've done a traditional scrapbook layout but I had a compulsion to scrap this photo today.  It's kinda my favorite photo of all 3 of my children together and is already 10 months old!  Where does the time go?!?  Little L was just a month old and I love the expressions on his big brother and sisters faces.  Pure love.

I kept the layout pretty simple so the focus would be on the photo.  I stamped the heart background stamp (Love in the background by Unity Stamp Co) in 3 colors of Memento ink (New Sprout, Lulu Lavender and Summer Sky) and placed the photo over the subtle background. 
I used a DCWV stencil for the You 3 (the 3 was part of an & but I turned the stencil around and placed tape over the parts I didn't want inked) and sponged on some Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.
The sticker is a Crate Paper Maggie Holmes that is actually covering up a bad stamping job (NOT a Unity stamp!).
The flower is Webster's Pages.
Our World and Life is complete because of you are from Unity's Love me. Love you. Love us. SMAK kit from 6/12.  The film strip stamp is from Unity's Life Starring You SMAK kit from 11/11 (which I believe was THE very first SMAK) an oldie but goodie!

Love, Laughter and really good Wine

I have a confession to make.  I am a stamp addict.  I have been collecting for over 10 years and a great majority of my stamps are wood block rubber stamps before the cling mounts came out and before I discovered Unity's fabulous rubber stamps on cling foam.  Sadly many of my wood block stamps never see use any more and are just stored in drawers (not that I could ever part with them)! I pulled out this wine background stamp from Stamps Happen recently because it was perfect to practice watercolor techniques on.  Of course when I finished it I didn't want to cover any of it up!  I paired it with this great sentiment from Unity Stamp Company and after trying a couple of things, I eventually stamped it on vellum so some of the background could hint through.
Just looking at this makes me want to pour a glass.  Maybe in a little bit, it is the weekend after all!

Friday, May 16, 2014

You're kind of a big dill

This is the Mother's Day card I sent to my BFF.  Her mom makes the best sweet pickles I have EVER tasted.  We also love the movie Anchorman and so this stamp and sentiment by Unity were kinda perfect.
I painted my first watercolor scene with this card.  I am very inspired by Swarup and how she takes a simple stamp and paints a beautiful scene around it that just brings it to life.  She is SO talented!  I however have much to learn.  I'm okay with that though because it is so much fun to practice!

Linking this card up to Unity's Friends with Flair today because it's FRI-DAYYY!!!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Be your own kind of beautiful.

Be your own kind of beautiful.  I just LOVE this message and it's so true.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  You must be true to yourself, always.  I could ramble on but I'll show you my art journal page instead!
I had fun working on this Suzi Blu girl on and off today.  I am still super new to mixed media and I tried some collage today.  Some of it worked and some of it had to be creatively covered up.  :)
Supplies used:
Unity Stamp Company Spring Flower Chic, Bella Doilies, January 2014 Kit of the Month (sentiment), November 2013 Kit of the Month (flower).
Scroll border stamp by Magenta
Mediums: Dylusions sprays, watercolors, smooch ink, distress inks, gesso, collage pauge, Pitt, pen, white gel pen
My Favorite Things morrocan tile stencil
washi tapes


I love this beautiful Unity stamp, Donna Peonies, it is just SO versatile and gorgeous!  I was having fun playing with it and my watercolors for a color challenge over at Sunday Stamps blog, pink and aqua.  I stamped it onto watercolor paper with versamark ink and used clear embossing powder, colored them and then cut them to put them on this paint splattered script background paper.
I left it sentiment free because sometimes it's just nice to have some cards for whatever occasion pops up.  I know I'm not likely to come across any peonies with this color combo in nature but I love playing with bright and bold colors, especially on rainy days!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Home with a heart inside.

I've had my art journal for well over two years now. Except for creating the cover, it has been sitting empty.  WHAT, this can't be true?!?  Sadly it is. Today I jumped in with both feet and it felt great!

I've been browsing Pinterest and watching some video tutorials but I really have no clue what I'm doing yet.  I know it is a learning process and with each page I will likely learn something new.  Today I learned that Dylysions sprays don't show up as vibrantly over gesso.  Noted.  :)

I wanted to do a page about what home feels like.  My family is what makes my house a home and I wanted to write a little something about family and home.  I left the right hand side mostly empty because I want to journal there.  Not sure how to leave some of the background showing through but still make sure my journaling is readable.  Maybe vellum?  Suggestions appreciated.

I also am not sure what medium is best for adhering, setting my page.  The last time I used Mod Podge over watercolors it smeared everything.  What do you use?

All stamps used are by Unity Stamp Company
Le Mason (house), Classified Newsprint, Plump Polka Dots, April 2014 SMAK (leaves and family), Here and Now (heart), Quotes a la Happy (sun).

Mediums used are gesso, Dylysions sprays, watercolors, Tim Holtz distress inks, Ranger archival ink, Faber-Castell pitt pen, and DCWV stencil

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I really had a great time creating this page and want to do more very soon.  Any art journal/mixed media tips or tricks are greatly appreciated!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Day

I've got a happy little card to share on this rainy, grey day. 
I love mood boards for getting the creative juices flowing and I came across this one on the Life.Paper.Scrapbook blog.  It is their April Mood Board Challenge and I LOVE the colors and am linking up this card to it!  It wasn't hard to come up with this card since I had my May SMAK kit from Unity Stamps on top of my table and this circle stamp called to me.  The colors, the circles, the arrow, the script, all of it inspired this card. 
Happy day.  Happy weekend.  Happy life.

More beautiful than you could imagine...

Friday is finally here, yippee!!!  I woke up on Wednesday thinking it was Friday, so it's kinda been a long week.  The babe is teething which means NO sleep but I think I'm getting used to it after so long and my crafting mojo has been on so I can't complain.

Had I known what a comedy of errors this card would turn out to be I would have taken photos along the way.  Originally it was a simple watercolor and when I stamped the sentiment it smeared a bit.  The OCD in me can't let it go so to fix that I painted over the background with a sunny yellow acrylic but instead it ended up looking day-glo yellow and clashed horribly.  I painted over that with layers of white gesso to tone it down and cover it up and messed Whitney Girl's skirt up in the process.  Time for a skirt re-do via paper-piecing.  Turns out I like the re-do skirt better and along the way I changed my mind about the original sentiment and used this one from Unity's Itty Bitty Faceless Beauty.  I added a sun from the May SMAK in Spiced Marmalade distress ink. 

Here is a close up of the background.
I'm happy that I kept playing with this and "fixing" what I didn't like.  Although I don't love the end result it was fun to play with and a great lesson in mixed media for me!

Entering in  Unity's Friends With Flair today.
Unity stamps used:  Whitney Girl, Faceless Beauty and May SMAK

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Delight in the little things

Delight in the little things.  And new babies are certainly little and delightful and oh, so precious!!!
I have been having so much fun practicing with my watercolors this past week!  My favorite color combo has always been pinks, oranges and yellows or what I call sunset colors.  Could be sunrise too, I just don't like waking up that early to look.  :)
I was bringing a meal to a friend who had her baby girl last week and couldn't resist throwing together this quick card for her!

I am entering it into two challenges.

CAS-ual Fridays: Three thirds challenge. My three things are 3 pearls and 3 colors (I have always had a hard time accepting black and grey as colors).
Keep It Simple Challenge #39: watercolor

The stamp is an Itty Bitty from Unity Stamp Company

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trust in your potential...

I had a quick chance to craft today when all 3 kiddos napped at the same time.  I was browsing through some challenge blogs and saw 2 different photos to inspire this card.
This pretty flower at Inspired By challenges had me grabbing for my Unity Donna Poppy stamp set.

And the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Pretty and Pink had me reaching for my pink and gold gelatos to color my stamp.

I stamped the outline stamp in blank ink and then colored the flower stamp with my gelatos, spritzed with water and stamped over the outline stamp.  I watercolored the stem freehand and then stamped the sentiment (an Itty Bitty by Unity Stamp Co).  It didn't look complete yet so I used some gold glimmer mist and sprayed 2 of the corners. 

It is FUN to craft in the afternoon while the sun is shining and the kids are sleeping!  I am entering this into both the Inspired By Challenge #113 and the Curtain Call Pink and Pretty challenge.

Happy Mom's Day!

I got Mother's Day cards done early this year thanks in part to inspiration from a new challenge blog over at Mountain Plains Crafters!  Check out their blog for great inspiration!  They are 3 ladies I've been following on Friends With Flair for some time and they are branching out to start their own crafty blog. 
Here is the inspiration photo I used to make my card.  Isn't it pretty!?!

I knew I wanted to watercolor and used this flower bouquet as a jumping off point. I used a flower stamp from Unity's Strength & Dignity KOTM and the sentiment is a Unity Itty Bitty.  I love pink, orange and yellow color combos and used some green and teal in the background.  Of course my cards usually have a mind of their own and so some dark blue got dabbled in as well.  :)
Here is my card, done in time to mail out to my mom!
I hope all you moms out there have a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend!  I wish I could spend mine with my mom but I will instead be loving on my little ones hopefully with a mimosa in hand and feet up (I can dream can't I?)!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Reach for the Stars

I have been loving the watercolor look for a while and have recently been very inspired to give it a go after watching Swarups amazing talent on video.  She makes it look SO effortless!  I found it a touch more challenging to get a look I liked.  This was my 4th try, the first few are only worthy of the garbage.  My 4yo daughter was watching Tinkerbell next to me while I colored and she loved this one so I turned it into a card just for her.
I love this Unity Phyllis Harris stamp, Reach for the Stars and you can get it for 56% off this weekend during Unity's Birthday Sale!  I'm linking it up to Friends With Flair and can't wait to check out all of the fantastic things you've been creating with your Unity stamps!