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