June 29, 2009

A Day With Karen Lockhart

Saturday was a much needed play day. I spent the day in Nashville, Indiana playing with colored pencils under the expert guidance of Karen Lockhart of Lockhart Stamps. Be sure to check out her website and her new stamp releases. She also has several techniques posted to help guide your coloring adventure.

The first class was all about layering colors to create depth and interest in your stamped images. The petunias are one of Karen's new releases. Notice the subtle difference in the colors of the garden gloves. By coloring one of them lighter, it is easy for the viewer to determine which glove is on top. The lighter spot in the center of the pot gives the illusion of its rounded shape.

Next, we incorporated the use of a stylus to add interest to stamped images. Check out the lines and flowers in these cute slippers. If you look at the original Lockhart stamp image, you'll notice that the lines and flowers aren't part of the stamp image. This technique, which Karen has graciously shared on her website, is a fun way to add your own personal touch to your stamping and it helps stretch your stamping dollar.

Near the end of our day, we learned how to color on black cardstock with a white pencil. By starting with a white pencil on dark cardstock, you provide a foundation upon which you can build with other colors.

Throughout the day, Karen reminded us of the importance of creating a story with our artwork. This butterfly is just one example of the many events that make up my life story. The colors of the butterfly mimic the colors in my business logo.

Today's post would not be complete without a proper thank you to:
  • Our instructor, Karen Lockhart, for sharing her ideas and inspiration
  • Our special guest for the day, Tanya Fox, editor of Cardmaker Magazine and one of my favorite books, "CardMaker's Sketch Book", for sharing the latest issue of the magazine, and
  • Cindy and Wayne of Papertrix for arranging a day full of fun, education and shopping!
Have fun creating your own story in your artwork.

June 22, 2009

Copics Take Me Away!

Did you ever wake up and realize just how fortunate you are? Saturday was one of those days when I realized that life is still good despite what I hear on TV or read in the newspapers.

I stopped to grab a soft drink before a class and had the most delightful exchange with the young lady at the drive-up window. In a matter of a few short sentences (and seconds) we agreed that life was indeed good because we both woke up that morning - we were alive and healthy and determined that it was great way to start the day!

Next, I discovered how fortunate I am that I truly love my new career - teaching art and stamping classes. I taught a class on creating cheery greeting cards by coloring stamped images with Copics. My students were eager to learn and continuously remarked about how much fun they were having and how peaceful and relaxing coloring can be. They gave themselves a task - go home and practice, practice, practice. I heartily endorse this assignment - not only will their coloring techniques improve but they will relax and de-stress while doing homework. It seems like quite an oxymoron but it really does work. I can't wait to see their finished artwork!

The card above is from Saturday's "Copic Cards" class. The stamp is from Ink-n-Rubber and was colored with Copics, of course! If you want to learn how to create the sky texture and other cool things you can do with Copics, be sure to join us on July 8 at Marco's Paper when I will repeat this class (see info under "Upcoming Classes" on the right).

Continuing with my day, I chatted with Peggy, a wonderful friend who shares my passion for crafting, and I was again reminded that I am truly blessed to have several truly good friends. My mother always said you are lucky if you have just one true friend in life but you are truly blessed if you have several.

Speaking of my mother, I finished the day by having dinner with her. She is my role model, my biggest fan and my dearest friend. Whenever we're together, laughter and good-natured trouble are sure to be a part of whatever adventure we engage in.

In the spirit of my new mantra, I challenge you to let Copics (or your favorite art medium) take you away today so you can re-discover all the good things life has to offer you. Be sure to post some of you artwork in the comments section of the blog.

Copics take me away!

June 18, 2009

In Search of Myself

I had lunch with a friend today and our conversation included a discussion of recent changes in the direction of our lives. The conversation reminded me of a quote from Maya Angelou - "I've learned that sometimes life gives you a second chance."

My friend is between jobs and looking at different career options. My second chance came as a result of my retirement. I've been blessed with many opportunities to pursue my creative passion after many decades of working in corporate America. I now have time to spend with family, friends and, of course, my many hobbies. I even have time occasionally to post to my blog!

If you find yourself facing a change in directions, I wish you much success and support from friends and family. Hopefully, they will take a cue from this card (created with stamps from Rosie's Roadshow and colored pencils) and keep you "here" until you return.

Carpe diem!


June 9, 2009

Real Heroes

I was doing some filing today, cleaning up from last week's classes and ran across this card that was part of my "Misty Masking Magic" class at Wishful Thinking. With Father's Day fast approaching, it seemed like an appropriate card to include with today's post. The crown is part of Ranger's new mini mask collection and the verse is from Verses Rubber Stamps.

The card was designed as a collaborative effort between me and Peggy - the Craft Junkies in their true element! We were working together in my studio when Peggy stumbled across the masked panel - a discard from another creative session wherein I was trying to create several cards for my "Just For Men" class. After a few rounds of trial and error, we settled on this as the finished card.

Don't forget to take time out of your busy day to remember the people who have made a difference in your life. Most importantly, don't wait for a special occasion or holiday to let them know how much they made a difference in your life - send them a handmade greeting card today!

To all the heroes in my life - thank you for being a special part of who I am.


June 7, 2009

Fabulous Friday in Nashville

This past week was a busy one! I started the week with My "Cheaper by the Dozen" class at Stamp Your Art Out on Monday, hosted a make-it take-it at Marco's on Wednesday, taught two classes at Wishful Thinking on Friday - "Watercolor Wonders" and "Misty Masking Magic" - and finished up the week with two classes on Saturday at Stamp Your Art Out - a repeat of the Cheaper By the Dozen class and a "Just For Men" card class.

My fellow Craft Junkies member, Peggy, also taught her infamous Cuttlebug classes at Wishful Thinking on Friday. We had a great time hanging out with the wonderful folks in Nashville, Indiana. We wanted to say a big "Thank You" to Marlene for inviting us, Tamara for helping us with the logistics and to all of you who attended our classes. We hope to see you again some time soon!

The card above is from the MiTi on Wednesday. If you missed it, you can get my detailed instructions at Marco's blog at www.marcopaper.blogspot.com.

It's the beginning of another week - don't forget to take time to breathe!