Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hello, stamping friends!

I'm back! Yes, back to what I love doing the most--stamping, watercoloring and making cards for people who are important to me. It was lovely to visit family and friends back east. Before that, I had a slew of pressing issues keeping me from my craft supplies. No excuses. The truth is I work in spurts of creativity and then go empty for a while.

The full moon is in Pisces tomorrow, which I’m told will bring a new burst of energy and inspiration. Bring it on! I love the fall and welcome the change in weather and all that comes with it. 

Caveat: I am NOT big on Halloween. While I totally respect others’  love  love, love of Halloween and do some of their best work for it, it’s just not my thing. I will push myself to do three Halloween cards--one for each grandchild--and then move on to MY favorite holiday… Thanksgiving!

You might find some new cards here later today. I’m working on a condolence card and two thank you cards that I hope to have in the mail tomorrow morning. 

Ahhh, it’s good to back!

Blessings and blue skies,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Stamp Show Miracles and Madness

 30 Day Coloring Challenge

What is more fun than a stamp show? We don’t get many here in Kansas City. So when a show comes as near as 3 hours away, I’m in! With my good stamping buddy, Claudia, we hit the road at 6:00 pm after her all-day watercolor class on Saturday. I don’t mind driving at night. It was a joy to get out of Dodge for our little obsession. 

Half way to Collinsville, IL we stopped for a great, inexpensive dinner (thank you, Yelp!) and gas. Except that I forgot to get the gas after a friend called just as we got back in the car. I yakked for 20 minutes before noticing we were soon going to run out of gas. 

I’m from New Jersey; what do I know about long, rural stretches of highway without an open gas station on a Saturday night? When I told Claudia we could be in trouble, her response was, “I’ll start praying.” Soon after that, she saw a sign for a Sinclair station at the next exit.

I pulled off at the very dark Danville, MO exit, hoping the station was open. When it wasn’t, I dug out my AAA card and prepared to call when another vehicle arrived. We watched to see what the guy in the truck would do when he saw the station was closed. But he had a key, opened the door and went in! We were saved! Red was not only helpful, but charming. Thank you, Red. You were a true angel.  

But you want to hear about the Collinsville, IL show. It was just right--not too small to be disappointing and not too big to manage in one afternoon. 

I made a short video of my stash. You’ll have to wait while I work on getting it uploaded. All this technology is overwhelming. How to edit the video and get it on to the blog? When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

What did I get at the show? Mostly stuff I’ve been waiting for: a 12 pack of zig watercolor markers, some sweet sentiments stamps from Crackerbox, a filagree die from Our Daily Bread, my first PanPastels (great price on 8 of my choice and half price on the holder and applicators!), two Nuvo crystal liquid drop bottles, a fine line applicator tip for my multi medium matte, and the big splurge (drum roll, please) new additions to my collection of Stamps by Judith and the lacquer dimensional paint tubes I’ve been looking at since I started this crazy hobby ten years ago. The price has come down since then. Plus, now I know more about what I’m going to use and what I’m not. 

Claudia and I closed the show on Sunday at 4 without winning any door prizes. One day. What’s important is we had a fun time and got some new toys. I also learned about new techniques, got some great ideas, did a few free 'make and takes’ and got us home safe and sound. Winning!!

So why would going to a stamp show be ‘madness?’ It’s not the show--it’s the crazy energy anticipating it. Once I’m inside, there’s a money-spending madness. I tend to go overboard buying things I don’t ever see at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joanne. What's so bad? I don’t fly airplanes anymore. A day of golf would cost more. I don’t drink or do drugs or shop for shoes or expensive clothes, eat in fancy restaurants or go to rock concerts. Any hobby would require my time, talent and treasure. Stamping too. On the plus side: it is a creative endeavor, keeps me out of the stores AND makes me so happy! From what I can tell, I am not alone. Crafters unite! Stop feeling guilty about paying for your fun. Whose voice is that in your head anyway? Time to let it go! 

Did I forget about the Coloring Challenge? No way! This morning I got back to the fun and finished the watercolor, shaker card for my friend Joe’s 55th birthday on Saturday. I even mailed it out. Go me! 

If anyone has suggestions on how to take good photography of my cards (including videos), I’d appreciate hearing back. Till then, happy crafting!

Blessings and blue skies,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Day 2

I’m still at it. Haven’t quit trying to figure out the technology required to be a modern hobbyist. But oy vey. Getting Instagram--the real app and NOT one of the thousands of ‘get follower’ apps that came up--was a headache I did not need today. Breathe. Relax. Watch the attitude, Lesley.   

To my credit, I DID get the the photo uploaded to Instagram. Yay! You can find me there as lesleyblueskies. Or is that #lesleyblueskies ? What’s a hashtag anyway? Will I ever figure out the social media thing? 

For my next trick, I’m going to attempt to link this blog to the Daily Marker blog. Wish me luck!

About this card: The watercolors are Kuretaki Gansai in layers of blues and green with Picket Fence Distress Paint flicked on for the stars. I used Strathmore yellow watercolor paper but do not remember when or where I picked up the ballerina stamp. The finished card will have sequins, but I wanted to get the coloring posted for the challenge. 

You might notice that I goofed embossing the ballerina. It’s a beautiful rubber stamp, with stars all through her silhouette. Because I grabbed the clear embossing powder instead of the white, I decided to Versamark over it a second time with the opaque white, but did not get the clean image I wanted. Oh well. Next time. It was fun anyway. The box of clear powder is now labeled. Progress, not perfection. 

What did go well: rigging up a light box to take the photo. A good day!

Blessings and blue skies,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 1

Talk about climbing the learning curve! Praise God, I figured out how to upload a photo from my iPad. 

Here's the card I did yesterday.  Mostly I've been consumed with learning how to watercolor these days. And I'm in butterfly mode. What can be better than the two together!

Blessings and blue skies,

And now for something completely different!

The best things happen for me in July. I have no idea why. They just do. So here’s a another blessing--the art blog I have wanted to create for years. I knew when Kathy Raccosin advertised this new 30 Day Color Challenge for July that I would have to get in on it. I love color, card making and new ways to stretch my abilities, so how could I resist! 

First challenge--putting this blog together. I am NOT a natural techy. Fittingly, it’s how I stretch my abilities. Being a boomer, tech does not come easily to me. But I do try my best to keep up. In the tech challenge category is how to get photos from my phone and iPad into this blog… quickly… because I have to get ready for work. Instagram is still a mystery to me. I have it, but keep getting frustrated with it and Pinterest. 

These should be the biggest problems of my life, right. 

So, back to gratitude. I am grateful for this hobby, grateful that my work supports this little addiction, grateful I do not have anyone criticizing it or putting me down for it, and grateful I have good friends to share it with.

Alas, I am out of time for today. Just wanted to post to Kathy’s 30 day Color Challenge. Thank you, crafters and card makers out there in the world. I am grateful for you, too!

Blessings and blue skies,