Saturday, November 4, 2017

Gobble 'Til You Wobble! + Blog Hop + Giveaway!

Hey there!

Thanks for finding your way over to my blog to celebrate Heffy Doodle's new release! If you just came from the fabulous Jessica McAfee's blog, you're in the right place!

Today I'm sharing this card that I created using the fabulous new Jet Alphabetters stamp set.



If you've hopped along to the other blogs, you've probably noticed that this release contains a lot of fantastic Christmas and winter images. Because it's just early November, I decided I should probably hold off on using those until it gets a little closer to the holidays! 

Thankfully this alphabet stamp set is so versatile that you can make it work for any card design/theme you want. I decided to use it for a Thanksgiving card to show off the possibilities. Within the last couple years, I heard this "Gobble 'til you wobble!" phrase for the first time, and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. 

I started by stamping out the phrase using Versafine black ink. I then die cut the panel using the My Favorite Things Cross Stitch die. I mounted the panel on a piece of foam and then glued it to my card base. I used some patterned paper that I had lying around in my scrap box for my card base. 

Because this was a relatively simple card design, I wanted to add a little embellishment to give the card some interest. I looked through my stickers and other scrapbooking supplies, and I saw these pie stickers. Since this was a Thanksgiving card, using the pumpkin pie sticker seemed perfect!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look at my card. If you're participating in the blog hop, make sure to hop on over to the next stop on the blog--the super creative Maria Rudolph

You won't want to miss the chance for fabulous prizes! A random winner will be selected for a $25 gift certificate and free shipping to the Heffy Doodle store. Comments must be left on each blog hop member's blog by 11:59 PM PST on 11/7/2017. Winners will be announced on the Heffy Doodle blog.

Kelly Martin--you are here!

Thanks again for stopping by and supporting this fabulous company. I'm so happy to be a part of this team!

Hugs,
Kelly

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Treat Yo' Self!

Hey There!

My name is Kelly and I'm super excited to be over on the Heffy Doodle blog for my first blog post as a design team member! I was so honored to be invited to be a part of the design team, and I'm excited to see how I'm going to grow in my skills as a crafter while working with these other amazing folks! For a closer look at my work, head here to my instagram account.

Today I'm sharing this fun card full of some of my favorite things--TREATS!!! If you look closely. you'll see that they are mostly sweet treats, with the exception of my all time favorite snack: pretzels!!



I decided to break out my colored pencils since I wanted to color these images as soon as I stamped them, and I didn't want to take the time to heat set the images or wait for them to dry on their own before I started coloring. Colored pencils are the perfect medium to use when you're wanting to stamp and then color immediately because you won't run the risk of the black ink bleeding into the rest of your images if you were to use markers or water coloring mediums.

I used several of the small treat images from the Ad-roar-able lion stamp set and then an additional image from the Happy Snappy Crocs stamp set to create my background. I stamped the images multiple times in black ink and then used my prismacolor colored pencils to bring the images to life!

I then used the Concord and 9th perfectly penned stamp set to stamp out the sentiment strip and then I glued it to my card panel. I then colored one of the elephant images from the Elephant of Surprise stamp set and glued it on top of the sentiment strip to finish off the card!

Thanks for stopping by!
Kelly

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sneak Peek!

Hey folks!

Thanks for stopping by today. I'm just sharing a quick sneak peek of my card that's over on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog today, so go over and take a look at the full reveal!

It's my last post as a design team member for the blog, so I want to thank you all for your kindness and support!

Kelly

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sneak Peek

Hello!

I'm back with my 2nd to last sneak peek while on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Design Team. It's been a great experience and I'm sad for it to be over. But I'm excited for the opportunity for the new folks!

Here is a sneak peek of my card coming up on the blog on Saturday. Be sure to stop by and take a look!

Thanks for stopping by to take a look! 

Kelly

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sneak Peek

Hey there, crafty friends!

Today I've got a sneak peek for you of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog on Saturday.

I have a dear friend who's having a baby soon and I can't wait to put this in the mail and send it to her and her husband as they welcome their little girl any day now.



Having a baby is one of the best reasons to celebrate, am I right? And it's always a good thing to send your friends a note to let them know you're thinking about them. These are some of the dearest people in the world, yet they are about to face one of the hardest transitions of their lives. Not one gesture of kindness is wasted at a time like this!

Thanks for stopping by to see the sneak peek. Today's post will be short as this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the joys of having a baby, but I don't have any experience in that area! :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sneak Peek + Favorite Altenew Stamps

Hey Y'all!

Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog on Saturday, and I'm also going to share my favorite Altenew Stamp sets.



Altenew has some of the most beautiful layering stamp sets on the market. To be honest, I have sometimes felt intimidated by the level of detail on these layering sets, but seriously--just practice with them, and you'll see some great progress in a short amount of time. Here are some of my favorite floral sets by Altenew, and they are all available at the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Shop!





Naturally, I had to include this stamp set as it is the subject of my sneak peek! I love the great combination of the pretty look of these floral images with their somewhat doodle-like aspect, too. 



This stamp set was one of the first layering stamps that I purchased, and it has remained a favorite. The detail on the largest floral image just gets me every time!




I'm not usually into the graphic and stylized type of stamp images, but I LOVE this stamp set. This is a great stamp set for masking techniques and multi-color inking techniques because the images are so large. Because the shapes of the images are so simple, purchasing the coordinating die isn't really on my to-do list.

4. Vintage Roses

Folks, everyone needs a good rose stamp set in their collection. I highly recommend this one because of all the different images contained in the set. This set is just a classic addition to your stamp collection to create STUNNING cards. Speaking of coordinating dies, I highly recommend investing in the coordinating dies for this stamp set because of the leaves, especially.

It's hard to pick just 4 favorites in the Altenew line, but this is a good sampling of the Altenew sets I am reaching for most often.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Kelly

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sneak Peek and Must Have Crafty Tools!

Hey Y'all!

I'm back today with another installment of a sneak peek.  Tomorrow, on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog, I'll be sharing the full reveal of this "punny" card that I had a lot of fun creating.




Today I'd like to talk about some of my favorite crafty tools. These items are a life-saver when card-making, and I believe that it's important to invest in something that actually helps you in your creative process. In my opinion, spending money on something that is going to help you increase your productivity is not a waste, but a wise use of your crafty allowance! :) All of these products are available at the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Shop.


How awesome are all these layering stamp sets that are out there on the market? I am a sucker for anything that gives a realistic image, and there are lots of floral stamp sets that give gorgeous results when you layer them up in different shades of ink. The MISTI Stamping tool is very useful for layering stamp sets, mostly because of the time it saves you. Once you place the stamp on your project one time, it will always be in that spot, so the guess work is taken out of the positioning process! If you are mass-producing cards, using the MISTI is especially helpful.


I am one of those total weirdos that likes fussy cutting my stamped images out. Sometimes when my creative juices are running dry, this is a great activity to do to stay productive and build up your stash of ready-to-use images. So, I'll camp in front of the TV and just cut out a bunch of images that I've stamped and colored. Matching die sets are wonderful, and I definitely have my fair share of them, but there's something extra polished about the look fussy cutting your images gives you. Having a pair of spring-cut scissors with fine needle tips is essential in getting good cutting results. These scissors can get you DEEP into the nooks and crannies of stamped images.


Distress Inks are pretty much the best thing ever, am I right? If you're on the fence about whether or not to invest in the blending tool and foams, take the plunge. You won't be sorry! Sometimes when I'm not even making a card with distress ink techniques, I'll look at the finished product and think, "This needs a liiiiiitle.....something." I pull out my antique linen distress ink and my blending tool, and BOOM! Instant depth and variation in color that adds a lot of interest to the card and makes it look more put together. This tool is designed to work well with a heavy or a light hand when applying inks to your paper. I like that they are small and can fit under the base of the mini-distress ink cubes. 

On any given day, I am reaching for these three tools more often than not. They are a great addition to your crafty stash and some of my favorites to keep close at hand. 

Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to check out my card on the blog tomorrow!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sneak Peek + Holiday Traditions!

Hey Everyone!

We're at another Friday and there is much rejoicing!

So, tomorrow on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink craft blog I'll be sharing a special Christmas in July card. Here is a sneak peek!


Because I'm doing a holiday card, I thought it'd be fun to share our favorite holiday traditions.

In my thirty something years of life, I've never known a year that we haven't done these traditions. Some people would say that's ridiculous. I think it's wonderful. My siblings and I are all married with our own families, yet we still carry on these traditions together and then individually in our own homes. Not only have we continued the same traditions since we were kids, we've added new ones since adding new family members! 

Although the months of November and December are just one long marathon of parties, events, traditions, and celebrations, I love it all and wouldn't want it any other way. 

The holiday season officially kicks off with Black Friday shopping and we still get up super early, even though the stores have already been open for at least 5 hours. We don't like to rush through our evening meal on Thanksgiving meal, and so we just get up early on Friday instead. And in recent years, it's been working out great since most of the stores are totally empty at those hours since all the REALLY crazy people went out at midnight.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we put up the Christmas tree at my parent's house. My parents have been collecting ornaments and knick-knacks since we were all babies, so needless to say, the tree is quite full. It's always fun to pull out all the ornaments from their custom-made storage boxes that my dad has fashioned from cereal boxes and newspaper and remember the stories behind them. 

On Christmas Eve, we gather at my parent's house for a meal that consists entirely appetizers. So basically, it's my favorite meal of the entire year. What is this magical meal called, you ask? 

Finger Foods. Because clearly, we are super imaginative at naming our favorite meal of the year. 

We hang our stockings at my parent's house (there are currently 9 stockings to be hung every year between the children, spouses, and grandchildren.), and also watch a holiday movie and play games.


On Christmas Day, we gather at my sister's house and open out gifts to each other, and it's always a sweet time. We also spend an inordinate amount of time taking holiday photos in front of the tree, and that is my brother's favorite part (and by "favorite part", I mean he hates it so much and complains like a 2 year old). 

We also eat a very traditional Christmas feast of ham, veggies, and other delicious side dishes--and then we finish off the meal with 16 different kinds of pie, so it's essentially a great day. 

These traditions have been a staple since I was a child, but it's been fun to add the new traditions over the years, too. A few years ago, my sweet sister-in-law started hosting a Christmas Eve brunch, and we've been going that for several years running now. My sister and I started a tradition over ten years ago of running around like crazy women the week before Christmas picking up stocking stuffers for our husbands. Ten years ago, I was keeping her company while she got stocking stuffers for her husband. But for the last couple years, I've been joining in the fun of picking up last minute things for my guy, too. 

My dad and I always cram as many holiday movies into the evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas that we possibly can, and that is another highlight of the season for me. Because.....Muppet Christmas Carol--HELLO?!?!?

Christmas is always a special time for us, and I'm grateful to have a loving family that enjoys being together. 

Thanks for reading about my love for the holiday season, and maybe this blog post has made you forget about the scorching heat of summer for a few minutes!

Only 23 more weeks til Christmas!

Have a great weekend!

Kelly



Friday, July 7, 2017

Sneak Peek + Returning From Our Wanderings

It's Friday, people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm super thankful to have had a day off on Tuesday, but is it wrong of me to still be glad it's Friday??

I submit that it is not.

So my husband and I have returned from our summer travels (for the most part), and now I'm in full panic mode over some deadlines at the office and other deadlines for my card making business. The sign of a totally beneficial and worthwhile vacation is that you come back from your time away and suddenly realize that the calendar kept moving while you were gone. I hate it when it does that!

Before I dive into relaying our vacation adventures, let me share my sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow.



Our time at the beach on the East Coast was just as magical as it always is. For the last couple years, my husband and I have had to drive down a day or so later than everyone else because he is still in school. And I am not very patient when it comes to waiting for him to be done so we can hit the road. 

Me: "Honey, do you have your stuff all packed? I want to leave as soon as you are done with school."
My husband: "Yeah, for the most part. I'll just finish the rest tomorrow."
Me: "Are you sure it can't be done right now?"
My husband: "Yes."
Me: Proceed to throw it in his suitcase anyway. Surely he can go without his toiletries for one morning.

We drove through a few minutes of a very heavy rainstorm, and that is always a highlight of the trip. I use the word "highlight" a bit sarcastically, as I was honestly concerned we'd have to call the Coast Guard to send us a boat so we could sail the rest of the way to our destination. 

When we got to Edisto Beach, I could immediately tell that the shoreline had changed significantly since last fall when a major hurricane came through the island. And ironically, it had already been raining there for a little while when we arrived, so there was LOTS of standing water all over the one main road that goes through the island. Cue the Coast Guard concerns again. But we finally made it to our beach house, where all my sweet nieces were waving at us from the window. Now, unfortunately, I missed it because I was too concerned about making sure we pulled into the covered drive way far enough that our car wasn't sticking out and thus making our unpacking chore a lot more....soggy. But my sister told me 20 minutes later that they were all waving from the window, and I could perfectly picture it in my mind, so that's pretty much the same thing, right?

The week was full of laughter and memories, way too much ice cream, and just enough body boarding to burn off about 1/16th of the calories we consumed. Perhaps the most comforting thing about our annual beach vacation is that we don't have to say goodbye to each other at the end. We all live in the same town, and that is something I am very thankful for.

After our great week at the beach, my husband stayed on the coast to attend some training classes at the Citadel while I headed back to Greenville to an empty house. But we're just gonna pretend that that week never happened.

Our next trip was out to Oregon for my sister in law's wedding. Based on my previous experience with being in Oregon during July, you can imagine my excitement to get back out there and experience some cooler weather in June. However, it was 100 degrees for the first part of our stay. We did what any self respecting person would do in Portland in the middle of a heatwave and in the middle of a wedding. We wore sleeveless and wondered why the good people of Oregon don't have air conditioning. In their defense, it's rare that they get that kind of weather. But they obviously hears that the South Carolinians were coming and wanted to show off. 

Anyway, after the wedding festivities were over, we packed up our cars and headed to Tillamook Bay. Where the weather was in the 60s. We had a BEAUTIFUL house that had a GORGEOUS view of the bay, and it was a wonderful time spent with the rest of the family. We missed my brother in law because he had just returned from an overseas assignment with the military. But we got to spend lots of good time with our other family members that we don't see nearly enough. There was even some clamming involved, in which I promptly avoided participation. Because....shellfish. I love the ocean, but I'm not so much a fan of purposefully hunting for creatures that LIVE at the ocean. They are some of the most mysterious and frankly....grumpy animals in the world. But my husband is a scientist, so clearly these types of things are his cup of clam chowder. We also visited Lincoln City Beach and took some epic pictures and I watched while people touched prickly stuff and bothered poor defenseless hermit crabs. Someone has to be the voice of reason, here. 








Both our trips were wonderful and super fun. I'm so grateful to have a loving family who actually want to spend time together. 

Thanks for stopping by today and reading about our traveling adventures! Have a great weekend!

Kelly


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sneak Peek + Little Break

Hello there!

Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Blog tomorrow.




I made this card for my brother's birthday which was last month. He appreciates funny little characters and I figured he'd enjoy the look of this card.

I'm headed off to celebrate my sister in law's wedding this weekend, so today's post will be short.

See you again next week!

Kelly

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sneak Peek + Our next trip!

Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I'm here with a sneak peek of my card that will be on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow!


I'm also going to share some details about our next trip.

But first, a little back story.

I met my husband while I was on staff at a local university. He was actually still a student at the time we met because he had come as a freshman but then left and sat out for almost three years before coming back. During the time he was gone, I was finishing up my undergraduate degree. When he came back, I was in graduate school working on my master's degree and so our paths just never crossed. I was in a serious relationship with someone else during my time in grad school, and obviously thought things were headed in a particular direction.

However, life has a way of taking unexpected turns!

That relationship ended very unexpectedly and so by the time I was in my last year of graduate school, I was sort of in a very different stage of life than I thought I'd be. I ended up taking a full time job at the university I received my degrees from, and just kept plugging away at this thing we call life. After my second year of working full time, I had the opportunity to travel in a small group of people that toured through Europe performing choral concerts. My husband happened to be in the same group, and so we got to be good friends. After our first year of traveling on this tour, we stayed good friends and then went on the same tour the next summer. Needless to say by the time we were back in the states after the second tour, we decided that we liked being friends so much that we wanted to be serious friends forever! :) We started dating and neither of us have looked back since.

We went to Oregon for the first time together the Christmas we were engaged.

At that point, the farthest west I had ever been was Colorado, which is a beautiful state, and so I had high expectations of Oregon.

Folks, let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

Visiting Oregon in the winter was a great experience. My husband's family live in a suburb of Portland. We toured some of the classic spots: Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Seattle (which is obviously in Washington, but when you're that close...you might as well go all the way, am I right?!), and probably other places that I can't remember off the top of my head at this moment. But it was truly gorgeous. And windy. If you don't own a Northface jacket, don't visit Portland. Because you will look out of place.

Last summer we visited Oregon again, and it was a totally different experience. Going from the July mid 90s with 200% humidity in South Carolina to the mid 60s in Portland was probably the closest experience to a resurrection that I will ever have. I felt like Dorthy coming out of her black and white twister world into the technicolor world of Oz for the first time. We took in some different sites this time, including a jet boat ride down the Willamette River in rain and high 50s. Um, this was one of the funniest things I've ever done and one of the best memories I have with my Oregon family, but I will NEVER.DO.IT.AGAIN. After I was all dried out, we went to dinner and I literally got a thimble-full of water on myself during the meal and I immediately started crying.

Crying, people. Crying about spilling a little bit of water on myself. Does that even begin to tell you how traumatized I was by the fact that I had gotten so soaked to the bone during that jet boat ride? I somehow thought that I would never be dry again after the condensation from my water glass dripped on to my jean-clad leg. I'm having PTSD shutters just thinking about it.

We also visited Cannon Beach and I was definitely amazed at the beauty of the Pacific Northwest Coastline, as it is VERY different from the East Coast beaches. I'm used to going to the beach and wearing bathing suits, sleeveless, and shorts. But when you're in Oregon, you visit the beach in shorts and a Lands End hoodie. I literally had to stop at an outlet shop and buy a windbreaker, because this Southern girl was extremely unprepared.

Anyway, my husband I head back to Oregon next week to celebrate my sister in law's wedding! She is marrying a terrific guy and they are a gorgeous couple. I'm sure the wedding will be beautiful and it will be great to be together with family that we see so rarely. And, if you can even believe it, I am going to refrain from engaging in any East Coast vs. West Coast dialogue battles. 😃

Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to visit the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow for the full reveal of my card!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Sneak Peek!

Hello there!

Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a sneak peek for you of my card that's coming up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow. I used a new (to me) set of watercolors that I am SO in love with! Find them here.












What I love most about these watercolors is how economical they are. Each tube of these watercolors retails for about $15 per tube, but this sample sheet of all the watercolors in this line is only about $22. If you are a cardmaker like me, you can make this sheet last for a long time.




Daniel Smith Watercolor 238 Dot Color Chart


Thanks for stopping by and spending a couple minutes with me! Happy Friday!


Kelly




























Friday, June 2, 2017

Sneak Peek + Baskets of Eggs

Hello!

Today is my last work day before vacation, so naturally I'll be getting very little done because the struggle to stay focused is so very real. 

Here is a sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow. The colors will just make you swoon, I swear. 



You might be wondering about my blog post title, so let me explain.

A few weeks ago I posted about some ideas for what to do when your creative juices have seemingly dried up and your mojo is nowhere to be found. There was one tip that I did not talk about, but it's one that I try to practice on a somewhat regular basis. 

I think it's important to avoid putting all your creative eggs in one basket. I am a cardmaker, and I habitually practice, study, and learn techniques to sharpen my cardmaking skills. But I have other creative interests. Pursuing those other creative interests helps sharpen my cardmaking skills. For instance, I dabble in graphic design. When I say dabble, I mean......barely enough to call it dabbling. And when I say graphic design, I mean.....I use web-based programs to help me. It's not like I just open a blank document in the Adobe Creative Suite and pull something out of my tush, willy-nilly. 

Here's a very specific example of how pursuing another hobby helped my cardmaking. Creating a scene is a technique in cardmaking that is sometimes very difficult for me, and that's because I am a detailed person and less of a big-picture thinker. But a couple years (yes, I said YEARS) ago, I got an idea into my head to create a print of some of my favorite words in all of literature. A month ago, I wanted to take a break from cardmaking and pursue something else for a short time to let my cardmaking muscles take a break. So I decided to exercise my big picture muscles and create a larger project. I designed a print and then used some of my cardmaking stamps to embellish it. When I'm used to looking at a "canvas" that is 4.25" x 5.5", it's actually really intimidating to think about creating something that was 8.5" x 11". I looked at a blank screen and all.the.white.space just SCREAMED at me. But then I just started typing, designing, etc., and before too long I got a big picture in my head of how I wanted this print to turn out. By the time I was done, I felt like I had learned a lot about composition (which is the aspect of cardmaking that I struggle with the most) and restraint. Oh my goodness.......I know I just said I struggle with composition the most, but as I'm writing this out, I'm thinking "Well....actually I probably have just as hard a time with showing restraint". So yeah, it's probably 50/50! 



And don't get me started on color combinations.....phew. It's a miracle that I churn out ANYTHING that's remotely pleasing to the eye.

Ok, so maybe I struggle with lots of aspects of cardmaking equally. I'm a work in progress.

Anyway, my point in saying all of this is that instead of being convinced that you're going to pursue one area of creating and then ignoring any other interests, you are handicapping yourself in the long run! So if you're a cardmaker like me, don't be afraid to make friends with all the fun needle art crafts there are out there. If you're a photographer, get some blank paper and some cheap watercolors and a paintbrush, and just see what happens! When you let yourself be uninhibited, you'll find inspiration in the most unique places!

Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to check out my card tomorrow on the blog!

Kelly

Friday, May 26, 2017

Sneak Peek + Favorite Coloring Tools

It's Friday, y'all!!! Do a happy dance!


Today I'm sharing a sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Blog tomorrow, and I'd also like to chat about my favorite coloring media.


While I am no expert at ANY of the techniques I use with these coloring tools, I'll offer some reviews of different products and compare them with each other. I hope to do a separate post for each medium so I can discuss the finer details of these tools in greater length.

Before I dive into that though, hang with me while I make two important observations:
1. Paper is important! The type of paper you use with these products makes a big difference in the finished product. Experiment with different types of paper and take photos of your projects so you can see the difference.
2. Swatch it! Regardless of how many products you have, do yourself a favor and create a swatch book of some kind. I highly recommend Jennifer McGuire's ink swatch downloads. While I won't be talking about inks in today's post, she has editable versions that you can make to reflect whatever coloring product you're using. Find them here.

1. Distress Inks

Distress inks are a Tim Holtz product and they have some awesome properties. They react with water, so they are a great tool for watercoloring. I don't recommend stamping with these inks because it's difficult to get a solid image. These inks are also great for ink blending techniques when using some kind of ink blending tool. I personally use the mini ink blending tool that's also made by Tim Holtz. The small round foam discs can get into small spaces easily and they fit perfectly underneath the mini ink cubes. Find the ink blending tool here and the ink pads here.
Speaking of the ink cubes, I actually don't own many of the large ink pads. Instead I have lots more of the mini ink cubes. The only color that I would recommend getting the full ink pad in is the Antique Linen. I use my full size Antique Linen ink pad for all of my no-line watercoloring techniques. It's easier to get a better stamped image with the full ink pad, but because I usually am using these inks for painting and ink blending, it doesn't matter if I have the full pad or the mini. The mini ink pads are also at a better price point since several local craft stores sell them in sets of 4. 

2. Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers


These markers are also great tools for watercoloring because they react with water as well. They have a real brush tip that moves like a paintbrush. If you're into hand-lettering, then these are a great tool to have! I love the vibrant colors of these pens, and they blend SO well (if you have the right paper!). You can also touch the tip of one pen to another to get a custom blend of color for your project. Find them here.

3. Colored Pencils


So, there are a LOT of different brand of colored pencils out there. To be honest. I have only tried Prismacolor, but that is mostly because I am so happy with them and haven't felt a need to invest in anything else! These pencils blend together amazingly well and have such a buttery texture that it's hard to be unhappy with their performance. I recommend getting the Prismacolor Blender pencil as well because using that little guy will help you make the magic happen! Find the pencil sets here (for an amazingly good price right now!) and the separate blending pencil here.

I also use Distress Markers, Copic Markers, and other watercolor media, (currently LOVING this one), but the three I just mentioned are the ones I reach for most often. 

I hope to do a separate post on each of these media and the types of paper that work well with all of them, but in the meantime--thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!  

Kelly







Friday, May 19, 2017

Sneak Peek + Summer Happenings!

Happy Friday, everyone!

I've got a sneak peek of the card I'll be sharing over on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow, and I hope you enjoy reading tomorrow about how I created it!


I can't believe another school year has raced by. In January, I left my previous job to start a new chapter and began working for a financial services company. After being in school since I was 5 then immediately working for 6 and a half years at a university straight out of graduate school, I was BOUND to the school year schedule. Then, suddenly, I went to a place where I was chained to the fiscal year calendar and a set of deadlines from the IRS.

But, I'm married to a teacher, so I'm definitely still tied to the ebb and flow of the school year calendar to some extent. Which is perfectly fine with me. I get excited right along with my husband when he gets a random day off or, like right now, when we're in the final days of the school year.
I feel like the summer "break" truly started to feel like an actual event when I attended my niece's kindergarten graduation last week.

That's right, you heard me: Kindergarten. Graduation. Because, apparently, that's a thing now? I never had a kindergarten graduation when I was a kid, and neither did most of the people I know.
But....don't mistake me. While I was kinda scratching my head over the idea of a kindergarten graduation, Aunt Kelly was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to go and super proud to watch her Bunny. She and all her fellow K5 compatriots stood on stage and sang songs about speckled frogs in a pond, losing a tooth, the Eastern United States, the "ch-" sound, etc. And, let's be honest. I probably would have made valedictorian in my high school graduating class if I had learned even half of these adorable songs to remember simple things like...which state is next to Alabama. My prediction is that, in another 20 years, people won't use google nearly half as much as they use it now, because...HELLO?! I have to look at a map when someone asks me what state is next to Alabama (which happens all the time, naturally). But all these adorable 5-year-olds have these cute and catchy songs that they can sing to themselves when they are asked the same question.
The event was sweet and precious, but I hope my niece isn't disappointed when she graduates from college since that ceremony won't be nearly as fun. Or colorful. It's even doubtful that any songs will be sung about speckled frogs.

Anyway, back to our summer plans.

My husband and I are going on vacation with my family to the beach during the first week of June. This trip is definitely one of the highlights of the year for us. Imagine the conversation-around-the dinner-table-scene from "While You Were Sleeping" combined with every episode of "Parks and Recreation" and then throw in an irresponsible amount of pie and ice cream consumption mixed with sunburns, wii competitions, and general toddler hilarity, and you'll have just a vague idea of why we're still talking about the annual beach trip months after it happened. I.cannot.wait.

Then my husband is actually staying on the coast to attend some continuing education training at The Citadel. So he will be gone for an entire week (DURING our anniversary, I might add), and it's looking likely that I will sustain permanent damage to my emotional psyche with him being gone. 😉 But after he returns, we immediately head out to Oregon for his sister's wedding. After we get back from Oregon we will no doubt celebrate our anniversary in some way and then we will spend the rest of the summer hoping that the days somehow miraculously slow down before my husband heads back to the drudgery of the school year schedule. We are also planning to have a furry little addition join our family, so the adventure of becoming doggie-caretakers will no doubt be good material to share here on the blog.

I hope that whatever your summer plans are, they include some time to relax and enjoy extra time with family! Thanks for stopping by today!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Sneak Peek + When All Creative Mojo Has Fled



Hello!

Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a sneak peek of my card coming up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow, and naturally it's all about Mother's Day! 



Today I'd like to give some ideas on how to get over a creative slump. I have learned that the creative process can be extremely draining and tiring, even when you do have lots of ideas for your projects. But when the ideas seem to be few and far between, the process is even more tiring! Here are some suggestions for getting the creative juices flowing again.

1. Walk away. 
This one is actually the hardest one for me. I HATE leaving anything unfinished, and it drives me crazy to step away from my projects sometimes. But I have found that, just like working in the financial industry (which is what I do full time), if you walk away from something and then put fresh eyes on it after a period of down-time, you'll come back with an even better perspective! 

2. Walk Outside.
I have a few good friends who are very gifted photographers and when I see their work, I am always slightly envious because I could never re-create the same beauty that's captured in a photograph, and God has created that world for us to live in. My favorite colors are not found in paints, inks, markers, or colored pencils. The most inspiring color schemes are the natural ones found outside! So take a walk in the great outdoors and see what this lovely earth has to offer.

3. Walk Backward. 
Sometimes we feel this unspoken pressure to re-invent the wheel every time we sit down to create. Consider this: How many paintings of landscapes exist in the world? Yet each one is unique and beautiful in its own right, and appreciated for different reasons. Re-visit an old technique that you have done before and love working with, and the inspiration for a new creation won't be long in coming.

4. Walk With a Pencil in Hand.
I never go anywhere without a sketchbook and a pencil, because I never know when I'll see something that inspires me. If I think of an idea for a card layout, I'll do a quick sketch of it in my book. Thankfully I always have my phone with me, so I can also take pictures of clothes, dishes, or any other various and sundry random objects that inspire me. I'm sure I have concerned many a store employee as I've walked through different places snapping pictures of their wares so that I can remember the color scheme or pattern later and incorporate it into a card. 

5. Walk Another Creative's Path. 
This one is probably the most helpful. A year and a half ago when I first started to get into card making, I had a conversation with my sister in law (a very talented artist) about inspiration. She told me that one of her college professors encouraged all of her students to constantly look at other's artworks. Not only did this encouragement keep the students' perspectives in a healthy place by not vainly studying their own work alone, but by looking at other's creations, they were constantly challenged and pushed by asking questions. "When you look at a work of art, you have a reaction. In analyzing that reaction, you will better understand the artistic process." I had the privilege of sitting down with this professor at a casual meal many months later and sharing with her that even though I had never taken any of her classes, these words of wisdom affected me vicariously through one of her former students. 

Thanks for taking the time to read! I am by no means an expert in any of these suggestions, but maybe they'll be helpful to you on your artistic journey. Never stop creating!


Kelly 




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sneak Peek! Knight in Shining Armor

Hi Friends!

Today I'm sharing a super short blog post  because it's a sneak peek of my first card over at Butterfly Reflections, Ink! Head over to the blog tomorrow and check out the entire card and read about my inspiration behind creating it!


Today's post over at the Butterfly Reflections Blog will be worth your read, too! Check out the new mood board with some yummy peach colors!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to head over to Butterfly Reflections, Ink tomorrow for the full reveal of this card!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Karmaisma Studios--How it All Began

Hello there!

Today, I'm sharing the inspiration behind the name of my card studio. Back in October of 2016, I had a wonderful opportunity to appear at a Maker's Market during a week long homecoming celebration at a local university. This event was my first "public" appearance as a card maker, so I wanted to make a good impression! After brainstorming with a few friends and family members, I finally settled on Karmaisma Studios. 

Karmaisma (pronounced "car-maze-muh") represents the beginnings of each name of my sweet nieces--Karleigh, Maisy, and Mallory. I never understood why people went crazy over their nieces and nephews.

And then I became an aunt.

Oh my goodness, folks. These three little faces instantly wormed their way into my heart and soul. I simply can't imagine my life without them, and it has been such a joy to watch them grow. My husband and I have more funny stories about them than we can possibly count, and frequently our conversations will turn to "Wasn't that HILARIOUS when Karleigh said <insert completely random observation or made-up word>?"

Karleigh, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Bunny" will be 6 this summer. She is one smart cookie, with an insatiable love for reading and all things princess. Thankfully she is still not too old to give me the best hugs ever.


Maisy, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Sweet Potato" or "Mutton Squeaks" (don't ask about the nicknames, people. They just sort of....happened), is 2 and a half, and never stops moving, unless she is asleep. She is SO full of life and joy, and says the most hilarious things ever.



Mallory, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Little Squish" or "Lady Bug", just turned one in March. She is Karleigh's sister, and just started walking. So....we all know how that story goes. She is an eater! There really is nothing more adorable than an infant waving her legs in anticipation of that thing you've got in your hand going in her mouth because she knows it will be the tastiest thing ever.

Although Mallory is still a little bit young to be interested in the creative process (unless you count stacking blocks and then knocking them down), Karleigh and Maisy LOVE to color and create, so I'm naming my card studio after all three of them in the hopes that their love for the artsy craftsy world will only grow as they do.

You might hear me refer to my Business Manager (my sister) and my Creative Director (my sister-in-law) from time to time. These two ladies have been so helpful to me as I've started this journey. I could not do without their advice and support. My sister in law is an artist herself, and has a fantastic blog and Etsy shop. Find her blog here and her Etsy shop here

Thanks for stopping by to learn a little bit more about my studio and the three little girls I love most in the world!

Kelly

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A New Chapter

Welcome to Karmaisma Studios! Thank you for joining me in my crafty journey!
To be honest, the blogging world has always seemed a little far off to me, but now I have the most wonderful reason to dive in!
Starting in May, I will be part of a design team for a fantastic card making blog--Butterfly Reflections. Ink. Vanessa Middleton owns a wonderful online shop for all kinds of crafters and somehow, in her spare time, she also opens her blog to new crafters like me! Check her out here, http://butterflyreflectionsink.blogspot.com/ and check out her lovely store here, http://butterflyreflectionsink.3dcartstores.com/.
I'll be sharing my card creations on Instagram and Facebook like before, but also here on my new blog. Follow along as I grow in my skill and share my discoveries with all of you, and thanks again for taking a peek into my little corner of the world! Soon I will share a post on the meaning of my card studio name and other fun facts about my interest in card-making!

Kelly