Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Inspiration Everywhere!

Okay Y'all, Come on In and Take a Look!

  Other than my less than perfect photo, how cool is this! I finally have each cubby filled with my selected Stamp-n-Storage picks! I received my last Lock-Down Punch Holder yesterday! 

However, when I think I finally have everything I need to fill my Ikea Kallax Shelf unit, the regret sets in just a little. Don't you hate when you realize too late that there are two 12 x 12 Paper Holders made for this unit! One with 12 paper slots and another with 15! It is not a worthy return item when the news drops in after purchasing 8 of them over the past 2 years! Boy, I wish I had those 15 paper slot ones! 

The bottom row are bins I purchased at Target and they hold my extra supply of cardstock. I like to have at least one of each color and a couple of regular and Thick Whisper White Cardstock just in case.

 Here are my two Kallax Units on the same wall. The door in between leads to the utility/storage room. The other door at the end is a powder room for all my guests.

 Here is closer look at the smaller Kallax Unit. While I already included this piece in a past blog post, it made sense to bring it back here.

While I think about it, I might bring it back one more time.

 I have been sharing little snippets of my craft studio in a number of past blogs, but I think I will bring them together in one large craft studio feature future post.

I do not know about you, but I rather enjoy seeing where, what, and how others craft.

I have quite a few Pins of inspiring craft rooms and craft room organization on Pinterest.

I have another type of inspiration to share with you if you another minute or two. 

This is a little something that caught my eye at a local furniture store...

...and these two gift bags called out to me earlier this summer at Target...

Hence, a two for one special! 

I created two cards from one large background by using a few of the elements above in the inspirational photos!

Where do you get your inspirations from?

 I have more photos on my phone than I have time to make them into cards!

Some of the Stampin' Up! items are from the retired sets Bloom By Bloom Bundle, Bouquet Blooms Bundle, and Happy Birthday Thinlits.

The Stitched Nested Dies (149638), the Classic Stampin' Pads, and some of the Cardstocks used are current. The fun color scheme includes Pineapple Punch (147141), Mint Macaron (147106), Poppy Parade (147050), Pretty Peacock (150083) Whisper White Cardstock (100730), and Basic Black Cardstock (121045).

The retired cardstock includes Grapefruit Grove, Gingham Gala Designer Series Paper, and Wood Textures 6 x 6 Designer Series Paper. 

The love sentiment came from the Well Written Dies (148534), the White Embossed (109132) 'i' is from the retired Hand Lettered Alphabet, the Black Heat Embossed (146956) 'more' is from the retired Sunshine Sayings stamp set. 

I am afraid I cannot remember which of the sets the 'you' came from, but it was part of a larger sentiment. I waited too long before blogging this project๐Ÿ˜ž
The 'you' in Rooted in Nature (146482) would make a good alternative๐Ÿ˜… 

I need to share a little secret with you... Growing up, I was the student in class that always completed her tests and art projects last. I was a good student and did rather well, but I was slow to get things done. 

I guess, I grew up to be one of those slow to get things done crafters too. I love Stampin' Up!, but I do not function at their pace of change from old to new.-- Not sure if it is blessing or a curse?!

Thank you for sticking in until the end.

If you need a thing or two that will give way to a little inspiration for you, stop in and shop my online store by clicking on the photo of the tattered shoes. 

Go ahead and subscribe to my blog and meet here again soon.

๐Ÿ’— Vally

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Craft Studio View and a Simple Card Set

A Tidy Space to Create and Simple Card Making

Another poor quality photograph...Anyway this is the front of my craft studio. The bulk of my current, and some retired Stampin' Up! Stamp Sets are located on the shelves. There is space for the furry members of the family too! 

While my desk is fairly clean at the moment, it can look like a hot mess when the creative urges, inspiration, project planning, and assembly commences.

The supplies on the desk are the items I want at my fingertips when I am crafting. 

The table is one my sister found at a second hand shop and gave to me for free. I added some paint and walla! 

However, I rarely sit and craft these days at my desk. While there was a time when all my crafting took place there, I usually work at the bar and table I have located behind this photo. I will share that soon.

This is the main cutting area. It once served as video game central for my three boys. The shelving and the entertainment unit were purchased at World Market and serve as a valuable storage space for an almost endless number of supplies and crafting tools!

This self and the other matching piece served as our family's library before my crafting bug set in. Now it is a is a library of Stamp Sets ๐Ÿ˜ 

Some of our books are still located here behind all of the crafting paraphernalia.

The set of cards above were inspired by a local boutique I visited for the first time this past Spring. The colors were soft and the clothes were loose and light. 

The space was hip with an industrial vibe and fun. The owner of the small business does display and sell some local artisan wares. I planned on taking the set down to the store to see if I could obtain a small spot, but I never mustered up the nerve to do it.

That is a story for another day...

Each of these simple backgrounds are selected from an assortment of embossing folders, stencils, and cover die plates from Altenew, Hero Arts, and Stampin' Up! 

The Stampin' Up! Embossed backgrounds used are Subtle 3D (151775), Springtime Impressions Dies (146326), and Pinewood Planks 3D (152320). I embossed patterns on Whisper White Cardstock (100730) and mounted them to a Thick Whisper White Cardstock (140272) top folding base.

The striped focal backdrop is a Smoky Slate (147113) watercolor mix painted on Shimmery White Cardstock (101910). There was no need to create straight lines. Instead, the stripes lack any fussy OCD measures and remain loose. 

I painted on a large piece of cardstock and simply cut out a variety of stitched squares from the Stitched Shapes Dies (145372) and Stitched Rectangles (148551).

The heart stamp has a similar striped watercolor look and comes from a retired Stampin' Up! Set called Heart Happiness.

 I hope you enjoyed another look into my craft studio. It is a busy space, but I am a visually inspired person and find comfort when I am surrounded by items that speak to me. 

Join me again soon and thank you for stopping in for a minute.

If you need anything, visit my online store and remember to subscribe to my blog...

๐Ÿ’— Vally

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A Look Into My Craft Studio and Into My Crafting Past

More of My Craft Studio & Starbucks Inspiration

While I had a short introduction into card making and papercrafting when my husband and I were stationed abroad in Iceland many many years ago, it was not something I embraced to do on my own. 

It was about 4 or 5 years ago when I ventured onto the Stampin' Up! Website looking for ink refills for a set of pads I had for over 10 years. This is when I found out that a demonstrator lived down the street from me and I started going to her classes. That lasted for about a year before she decided not to continue with Stampin' Up! 

It was too late for me as the excitement of the creative process set me out on a journey to find out what I did not know I needed. I soon joined Stampin' Up! to have an outlet that allowed me to offer classes. 

It was not long before I kicked my beautiful boys out of the basement that had become the local pubescent hangout.  One that needed regular scrubbing, which my boys lacked the forethought or motivation to participate. I threw out the sofa of no return, packed up the video games and relocated them to their appropriate preadolescent owners that had their own available spaces in each of their rooms and begin constructing a personal creative space where my friends could come and find an outlet to create while getting away from the rigmarole of every day.

If you have not taken part in previous posts, you will have to get caught up on the other shared images of my craft studio. I do believe everything needs a place, which makes it easier to find what I need when I need it and to quickly and easily put it back in its place when I am done using it. 

Forgive the quality of the photograph. I am in the process of blogging even though there are a great many things to learn ;)
Here is a shelf, one of two sitting on each side of my cutting station. I store various types of paper for different crafting mediums, stamps, all my copier supplies and a hodgepodge of other supplies, folders, books, and memorabilia.

I love twine and that is located and displayed on the top of the shelving unit. 

Underneath the unit lies Floyd's (our dog) feeding bowls. They are out of the way when they are not in used, but of coarse, any crafting studio must make room for the other members of the family, our dog and cat members anyway. Just kidding, husbands and children are allowed too!

This Stampin' Up! bundle is called Humming Along. It was included in the 2019 Occasions Catalog. It is a retired set, but one I elected to use.

In the past two years, I have collected a great many stamp sets. I have not had the time or opportunity to use all of them, nor am I ready to get rid of them. I plan on using everything in my collection in the future. Am I alone in this??? I have not stopped buying, but when I need a certain something special, I often find it in my retired stash, so how can I possibly part with any of them?!

The background splatters also comes from a retired set, the much beloved Gorgeous Grunge. In the 2019 Creativity Calling Catalog you will find the Tropical Dies (146831) used above.

The hummingbird was colored using Stampin' Blends and was thoroughly coated with glossy accents, which I love, love, love.

To finish the card, I curved a couple of diagonally opposing corners, added a Balmy Blue piece of cardstock to peek out below the Whisper White Cardstock (100730) with the mounted image. I used Stampin' Dimensional (104430) for a select number of cut out images to add dimension and finally, all of this was adhered to a Thick Whisper White Folding card base (140272).

How fun is this card! I am not sure why some of projects stand out as one of my favorites, but this set did. There were originally five, I gave one to my mom for her birthday in July before I got around to photographing them. 

The layers start with my Thick Whisper White card base, next is piece of Blackberry Bliss Cardstock (133675) topped with a slightly smaller piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock (101650). This layer was stamped with lines in Pumpkin Pie (147086).    

The cups and star bursts from the retired Hug in a Mug Stamp Set are stamped in Blackberry Bliss (147092). Of course, I added a little glossy accents over the inner part of the mugs.

A combination of squares and inlaid circle are created using Lovely Words Thinlits (143733)Blackberry Bliss (133675) and Mango Melody (1469898) cardstock are used. The lines in the focal image are also stamped in Pumpkin Pie (147086). Stampin' Dimensionals (104430) popped up the focal image adding extra interest.  

A fussy cut spoon was stamped in Blackberry Bliss, dressed with a bow made from Linen Thread (104199) and popped up with Stampin' Dimensional (144108). A few corners were rounded using my Envelope Punch Board, but any rounding tool will do the trick. Stampin' Up! has a Detailed Trio Punch (146320) that has a a rounding punch.

Well, what do you think? Will you be running to Starbucks to check out the gift cards that are displayed this season? I hope these projects inspire you to find inspiration everywhere you go...

Until next time, follow my blog and stop by my online store to find all the tools and supplies you need to make whatever inspires you.

๐Ÿ’— Vally

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Another Peek Into My Craft Studio

An Organizational Love and a Good Morning Magnolia Project

This Kallax unit from Ikea is one of two and the smaller unit in my craft studio . I store my markers, sequins, sponge daubers, extra catalogs, small trimmers, and other items that I regularly use. The bins are from Target and are great to grab and take to my work station. I also store my crafting to go container from Thirty-One in a bottom cubby. 

If you are anything like me, your craft room is already so full that space is an important commodity and used wisely. Due to the lack of open shelving space, I also have some past 3-D projects stored in one of the wire bins. Even though they are not displayed like I would like them to be, I can still see them.

On to one of my recent projects...

One place in which I find inspiration is Starbucks. Their gift cards are often unique with interesting color schemes.

I black heat embossed (146956) the largest floral image in the Good Morning Magnolia Bundle (151087) and added my pop of color in the background. Masking paper cut with various dies to create curved lines and a soft scallop were used along with a dotted Stencil I have in my stash.

I used a blending tool to create an ombre effect from light to dark in retired Pink Pirouette and Pacific Point Stampin' Ink (147098).  

The simple Hello sentiment is from the Good Morning Magnolia Stamp Set (149298) and is embossed with Stampin' White Embossing Powder (109132) and punched out of Basic Black Cardstock (121045) with a 1" Circle Punch (119868).

Here I also used a stencil with a blending tool creating an ombre effect with Mint Macaron (147106) and Soft Sea Foam (147102) on a piece of cut down Very Vanilla Cardstock (144237), but added the large Magnolia floral image in Memento Black (132708) as a backdrop. 

A smaller bud is used as the focal image along with a Black embossed (146956) sentiment from the Amazing Life Stamp Set (148750).

The Amazing Life Stamp Set is again an embossed featured in the above card with a thin band of Basic Black CardStock (121045) and an assortment of colored lines fashioned from an assortment of Stampin' Ink colors, which includes:

The Large Magnolia is the focal image once again on this card with a large cut circle stamped in soft stripes using Blushing Bride (147100), Flirty Flamingo (147052) , Mango Melody (147093), and Crushed Curry (147087)

A little texture was added using the Subtle 3D Embossing Folder (151775) and the 1/2" Circle Punch (119869) to crop the corners. 

The Sentiment was embossed on a fishtail cut piece of Vellum (101856) and a simple little bow made from Linen Thread (104199) and sequins are added.

In addition, with all my cards, I use Thick Whisper White Cardstock (140272) for the folding card bases.

Lastly, this simple card is a 3-D project using the Balloon Bouquet Punch (140609), the Magnolia Memory Dies (149579), and the leaves from Wild Rose Dies (149547).

The black and white is carried again in this card using the Artisan Textures Stamp Set (151278) and a sentiment from Incredible Like You Stamp Set (148708).

Each card is inspired from various other projects that I would like to give credit where credit is due:

Stampin' Up! of course, but also the never ending beautiful floral images from Altenew, the Amazing Carissa Whiley with Sprinkled With Glitter, and The Stamp Market, who's color schemes knock my socks off! 

Thank you for joining me again and spending some of your valuable time to see what I have been working on!

Join me again soon for another look into my Craft Studio and more projects.

If you need any supplies, please stop by my online store...

๐Ÿ’— Vally

Friday, August 16, 2019

More Views of My Craft Studio and a Creative Project

Creative Storage and Varied Vases

One thing I do not have enough of in our home is storage. This is something I have pondered and have a couple of opinions on the matter. One opinion is human beings have been living in homes for ages and the need for closets in each room, in the USA anyway, should be a norm. What happened to the coat closet, a small pantry in the kitchen, or a towel closet... I do not have any of the later.  I am of the opinion that the above should be included, at the very least, in all homes.

Needless to say, while I love any and all organizational projects, I have had to get creative with my storage.

One solution I have come up with is steel shelving. I have quite a few in my home. Due to the open storage concept, I do keep them neat and they have become a part of my decor. 

On another note, my mom and I have been thinking about opening up an online market and one of the items that I am considering adding to our shop are handmade and interesting covers and curtains for the shelving that are not only cute and decorative, but also easily hide what might not want to be displayed.

Here are a couple of images of the shelving in my craft studio:

Please forgive the hazy photos. I will hopefully learn how to take a better photo in the future. My craft studio is in my basement and I do not have any special lighting that I probably need to take an improved photo or some skills using something like Photo Shop.

Next, I would like to share a project using Varied Vases Stamp Set and Vases Builder Punch (146644) (147040) that I created for a previous class.

The first two cards were a little challenging. I call these two my Shabby Chic Projects. My gal pals had a little difficulty embossing with the White Stampin' Emboss Powder (109132) on the Silver Foil Sheet (132178). Ultimately, I rather liked the almost faux vintage mercury glass look that was created with the abrasive powder and when heat embossed. 

The floral bouquet was created using the Beautiful Bouquet Bunch Dies (143659). The vases were stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in Stampin Silver Emboss Powder (109131) using a background stamp and floral image from the Varied Vases Stamp Set (146644) and a retired background stamp.

 I love the look of Stampin' White Emboss (109132) on Crumb Cake Cardstock (120953). The Rich Razzlebery Cardstock (133675) and Gold Glimmer Paper (146958) created a eye catching pairing. I used the Layering Squares Dies (141708) to add the scalloped frame.

My last card is my favorite! I did a bit of watercoloring to create the striped background, celebrate sentiment, and succulent images. While I cut out a large square in the background watercolored piece, it can be used in a future project. I also love succulents and took some inspiration from the few I have in my Craft Studio and a few I found online. 

It is time to water these!

Some of the colors used are Mint Macaron (147106), Rich Razzleberry (147091), Highland Heather (147103), Calypso Coral (147101), and Old Olive (147090). 

Thank you for stopping by and if are looking for a supporting Stamping Up! demonstrator, join me on a creative journey. Check out my online Stampin' Up! Store if you need a few things.

๐Ÿ’— Vally

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Amazing Industrial Changes to our Home

When your husband goes bam!

The Home of the Rodriguez Family

So, I have to start this post with a little explanation.  

My husband, Raul, and I have been married for 26 years.  This December will be 27 years!  When we got married ages ago, we were both in the Navy.  Even with a career of my own, I settled into a traditional role of a wife, a role I witnessed growing up.  I did most of the cleaning and cooking.  It was about 7 years into my married that I experienced the amazing cooking abilities of my husband. 

While he did prepare a wonderful meal on the day of our nuptials following our shotgun wedding at the local Justice of the Peace with the approval of the United States Government (seriously, we had to send a written request up our chain of command to get married and it had to be approved before we could say I Do), I had not idea it was a skill he had spent a good deal of time mastering instead of a one time wonder.

Anyway, I made the majority of the meals...morning, day, and night for the first 7 years and then this heavenly experience of seeing angels descend from the clouds onto my dining room table in the form of edible delights!  My husband can cook and he is really, really good at it!

Hold onto your shorts, I have experienced this again!  

Not in the same way however.  We are in the process of upgrading and improving our home.  Raul and I had the floors refinished.  We went from a light oak and light carpet to a dark greige on a wall to wall red oak floor and stairs.  When the flooring was complete we put all of our furniture back in their original places.  To our surprise, the dark floors did not lend itself to our old decor.  The house looked too crowded and heavy.  This sent us on a decluttering and downsizing of our furniture pieces. 

Here are a few older photos of our home at Christmas:

Well, we painted the walls and I designed a coat rack that I wanted to place in the foyer.  And Raul created it with the skill of another type of master!

That is not were the magic stopped!  Again, I asked for a shiplap fireplace with a rustic mantle...and boom:

Not only did I get a shiplap wall, but Raul had a metal plate created from scrap metal to encase the fireplace...beautiful!

...and metal accents!

The mantel was an old ceder fence post that I spotted in the back of visitor's truck!  Lucky for us, the old fencing had not made it to the garbage heap!

The last impressive project that is nearly complete is the new look of our staircase:

I am pretty lucky to have a husband with the skills of a master...I cannot wait to see what else he has up his sleeve! 

๐Ÿ’— Vally