Saturday, July 31, 2010

Purse Mini Scrapbook

When I upload the photos of the mini "purse" album I thought I had posted the larger version already. The mini was just an added bonus thrown in for fun.  I bought the kit last year when I wasn't able to make the class, just to learn a new shape and technique and then never put it together.  So, I put together the 3 kits I had lying around last week.  I guess my on-line class and the blog have motivated me to not just plan great projects but to do them as well.

Here are the pics of the large purse:
I stamped a plain white flower petal with Distress Ink

I used Seam binding and Ribbon
Fun little "pages" that hide in the pockets
The left side pocket

Pages that fit in the right side pocket
The back of the right side pages

Monday, July 26, 2010

House of 3, Claudine, Harry Potter, and me

Good time was had by me this week 'cause I have been creating.  I spent time with paper.  I LOVE paper.   All sorts of paper.  The more the merrier.

I finished the Purse project that I showed last week by completing the mini version.

Basic Grey is by far my favorite paper company.  I used to collect all their paper lines but then they started releasing 2-4 lines each season and I gave up.  Now they have a billion add-on products like buttons, felt stickers, brads, rub-ons, ribbon…

I have decided that I can love more than one paper company and though I always go back to Basic Grey,  I just discovered Webster's Pages, Graphic 45, Pink Paislee, and House of 3.  

I found Webster's Papers at a scrapbook show.  Their lines have a vintage flair with soft colors and pretty designs.  Graphic 45's esthetic is very vintage and very busy.  They have a new line called Halloween in Wonderland which I love for the name alone.  House of 3 is a mega meeting of Heidi Swapp, Rhonna Ferrer, and Janet Hopkins.  Each is a "rock star" in the scrapbook world and the coming together of the 3 is nirvana, for me and a bunch of others if their weekly blog show participation is any indication.

House of 3 has a lot of digital products and I admit I am a little too green to get much out of digital crafting right now but I hope to figure it out before this generation is moot and the next big thing hits.  I have to make time to learn Photoshop Elements.  Lucky for me the House of 3 products often include PDF files and I do know how to print those!  House of 3 and Pink Paislee  have come together to produce a just announched joint line called Parisian Anthology.  The line includes actual paper, flowers, and cool jewels as well as digital products.  The entire line is BEAUTIFUL and Rhonna made jewelry from the jewels and flowers intended for scrapbooking and card making.  How cool is that?

Speaking of House of 3, yesterday I made their "Once in Lifetime" mini scrapbook.  This kit came with the stickers, jewels, ribbon, and the die cuts all ready to go.  It only took one night and I really did exactly what the directions said, except where I messed up and did the opposite of what was called for.  Yeah, I have trouble reading and following directions sometimes.  Usually I like to add my own flair to projects but this was a very simple project and I wanted to see her techniques rather than make something unique.

 I spent the rest of my time this week catching up on my Claudine Hellmuth Class.  Claudine put out a big supply list before the class started and I got everything, with the exception of her signature "Extra Time" which I had trouble finding.  Because it was so rare,  I figured "how often could she use it right?"  I decided to roll the dice and see if I really needed it.  I think it is safe to say it is, if not Claudine's favorite product,  than it is one of her favorite products because she uses it all the time.  Extra Time- as you probably surmised from the name, gives one extra time before the paint dries.  It thins the paint out making it a glaze and allowing more working time to manipulate the paint.  Unfortunately my gamble didn't pay off and I needed it for the second week project.  I had to scramble to find it and wait for it to ship.  Ding Dong rang the postwoman and handed me a small box.  Ah, I finally got Extra Time and was able to sit down, catch up, and dazzle myself with my beautiful work
So now I have everything I need:
Paint? check
Brushes? check
Canvas? check
Extra Time? check
2 inch circle punch? NO
Large rub-on? NO
Perfect piece of scrapbook paper to match project? Maybe
Photocopies? NO
Photocopier? NO
hmmm this isn't going so well.
 While Claudine provided a nice piece of artwork to use as the background of the project, I needed a photocopy not an inkjet print.  Ugh, Kinko's is a good 20 minute drive and here I am wearing my scanky-ready-for-paint shirt, my iPod is playing NPR's "Wait Wait.." Podcast, my water glass is refilled with ice, I'm ready to create!  I don't want to get in the car and go photocopy one paper.  In the end I found a photocopy in my stash, used an actual dictionary page rather than the provided artwork, used my 1-inch circle punch, and found a rub-on I liked.  Princess Serindipity waved her wand in my direction because in the end I really like mine better than Claudines.

What a mess my house has become as I neglected it in order to create.  My subconscious raises her head off the pillow and asks "Create what? Chaos? Cause it's a mess in here" Oh shut up.

Chase has hit the Lego Harry Potter Wii game hard this week and he almost has it beat. As in 100% complete.  We found a map on-line that some game-crazy fan posted of the entire Hogwarts world and somehow I managed to figure out how to get to the hidden places.  The biggest problem I have is I enjoy playing.  Of the 3 Lego series we play (Indiana Jones 1 and 2 and Star Wars), HP is the most fun, has the fewest really frustrating parts (driving all the vehicles through the goal posts almost drove me insane in Indiana Jones 2), and appeals to my OCD side.   I like the Lego games because each portion has a completion point.  Once you find everything, collect all the characters, gold bricks, shields, and owl posts you are done.  I get to wrap it all up nice and neat.  My OCD loves this.  The problem is, while Chase has 1,333,456,655 points (this is an actual total as of 2:30 today, not an exaggeration), I still feel the need to pick up every single coin and break every single object.  He has enough money to buy everything in Lego Harry Potter and Lego Indiana Jones 1 and Indiana Jones 2 and Star Wars the series, and yet I still pick up Every. Single. Coin.  I break everything breakable and I yell at Chase to pick up all his coins.  Seriously!?!  Even more pathetic- I walk around the actual Legos on the actual floor, the actual iPod earbuds on the actual couch, and the actual magazine Leaning Tower of Lazy on the actual coffee table.  OK, maybe I need help?  I think I must have been a queen in a former life cause I know I wasn't the housekeeper!

 Later's Baby.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ok, so I'm a little messy!

My laptop, may it RIP.  The piece of crap that was my Toshiba Laptop lived a short, illness-plagued life Huh...they say a dog grows to look like his owner, maybe a computer mimics it's owners health.  But I digress.  The initial problems began when it was barely a year-old.  Lucky for me the first problem was covered under the warranty.  If you've ever owned a laptop you know my lucky ran out about 13 minutes after the warranty expired.  The Toshiba continued to have problems and at one point Rick did a bit of unauthorized surgery pulling off a something-something-video-something transplant using his dead laptop as the donor (don't tell UNOS but I'm not sure the proper donor consent forms were signed.)  In the end, my computer suffered the effects of being used by me (let's be honest, I'm not always the most careful with my toys) and my kids (one is 4 and one is a TWEEN, need I say more on that subject?)  In the end it was missing 2 keys, required electrical tape on the AC box to hold the front and back together, had issues at the connection between the computer and the AC cord,  and looked like somebody ate lunch on it- more than once! (hmmm any one of use could be the culprit on this one.)  Last summer, a friend offered to lick the jelly off the keyboard.  To be fair to me it wasn't jelly (and he didn't lick it) but it did look like it was "washed with a Hershey bar" as my father used to say.  About a month ago my nephew noted the missing keys and asked me what happened to my computer.  Ever the quick wit, I told him it as trying to morph into an iPad.  We all had a good laugh but I think I offended the stupid thing (the computer not my nephew) because it kicked into self-destruct mode and finally died during another unauthorized surgery- this time to fix the AC plug/wire/thingy.

During the months I spent planning my blog I always envisioned myself blogging on my laptop while lying in bed after getting the kids to sleep.  I saw myself typing all my profound musing at the end of the day while relaxing and waxing poetic about my life and beautiful sleeping children.  REALITY  CHECK: the laptop's dead, the kids don't sleep,  I don't wax and I'm no poet.  So I either type the entire blog on my iPhone, and while I am sure there are bloggers out here who do that it just ain't me, or I cue up for the iMac.  I stand in line along with my husband, 2 kids, 1 rabbit and 2 fish- waiting for my turn on the desktop.  Rick's Fed Ex life, with the exception of flying, is over the computer and Chase would "…rather play electronics than play outside".  Ryann adopted a pet this summer in the form of a beautiful iPod Touch.  He goes everywhere with her and she lovingly pets him all day long.  Sometimes he puts his paws in her ears and she drifts off into another world only coming around occasionally to scream something to us- like we have little white paws in our ears?  When she gets in trouble and gets the pet taken away or when she needs a little break from it she only has two choices apparently: 1) any stupid idiotic Disney Channel sitcom (on the Disney Channel, on the DVR, or on-line) or 2) the iMac to play iTunes, Club Penguin, or YouTube.  Even the rabbit and the fish have priority over me.  Here is sit, finally by myself- Rick took the kids to the park to a presentation on bees- and I am actually going to get a something posted.  Yippy for me!

(Standing up) "Hi, My name is Danee Kaplan, and I am a slob when I craft." (everybody now) "Hi Danee….."  I want it out there at the beginning of this blog that I can only craft when my workspace is completely overwhelmed with crap.  I have finally recognized that I will continue to get stuff out until I have only a teeny tiny workspace left.  Ahhh, now I can really create.  Yes it drives Rick nuts- but please don't send him any sympathy notes, he stews about it enough as it is.

I am taking an on-line Class with mixed-media artist Claudine Hellmuth.  Over the past 8 years I've discovered that the artists that I like rarely come to Michigan to teach classes.  Since it isn't that practical to travel to classes like some of friends with grown kids,  I've decided to try some on-line classes.  In full disclosure I admit that Claudine was in Michhigan last summer, teaching in Alpena, but it was impossible for me take the class at the time.  I tried to take an on-line class from Graphic Artist Traci Bautista last year but it was a disaster.  It was her FIRST on-line class and while I give her some latitude for that the class was a mess.  She was completely unorganized, not very accessible for questions, never seemed to post the instructional videos or directions on time, didn't have a good supply list, and overall just plain sucked.  I shied away from any online classes for the last year but since I really love Claudine's work and the 12 week class was only $79 (not including the supplies) I decided I had nothing to lose.  So far Claudine's class is very well organized.  I have completed a few projects and I can say that I've learned a lot already and it's only week 4.

We are making a "recipe book" with techniques:
This is a gesso imprint technique- apply gesso (over painted surface) with credit card and using a stylus, make an imprint in the wet gesso.

This is made by painting the surface red, swiping a watermark ink over the surface and while it is wet adding a thinned out paint.  I realized after doing this and an other similar technique that I thinned the paint out too much.  

Again, paint too thin.  Made by painting surface blue, adding watermark ink on a floral stamp and washing over with thinned black paint.  This example is a mess but if done' correctly it looks pretty cool. 

My favorite technique so far (again I would do lots of things different next time).  This is a Gesso transfer.  Paint surface teal- when dry apply Gesso with credit card so there is a nice thick layer- apply the PHOTOCOPY of Ryann print-side down directly into the Gesso and let it dry overnight.  When dry, mist with water and rub off all of the paper.  You have to rub and rub and rub but eventually you are left with the image embedded into the Gesso.  I took a little pink paint and colored the cheeks and used Tim Holtz Tissue Tape (which I am completely in love with) on top and bottom of the image to smooth the transition between the image and the board.  
This is Chase.

Check out Claudine's Blog at

Time to get crafting.

Later's Baby