Sending Love and Happiness – with Rubbermoon Stamps and Betty Butterfly!

IMG_3146A recent post on Facebook by Kristen Powers, owner of Rubbermoon Art Stamps, inspired me to brainstorm some different ideas for my “Open Arms” Rubbermoon Stamp design. I designed a whole group of stamps to work nicely as a set to promote “Sending Love” with the art of rubber stamping, but I thought it would be fun to brainstorm ” What else could this little girl be sending out into the world?”

I decided to have fun and chop up some pages from my watercolor sketchbook to use as canvas for some mini paintings that will work well as little gifties to send with books I sell, or as some Mother’s Day gifties to family and friends!

Here are the steps I went through to brainstorm and create a variety of ideas from a single rubber stamp!

IMG_3147MATERIALS:

1. Cut the watercolor paper out of the spiral book with scissors and left the rough edge as a decorative element for the top of my bookmarks.

2. Chopped the paper into strips using the scrapbook paper/photo cutter.

3. Start stamping! I used the same stamp on each bookmark piece, adding other stamps to some, and on some I simply embellished using the PITT artist pen (I used the brush tip which I regret – too bold for my taste – I prefer using the fine tip from now on).

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4. Add handwriting if you like, as a special custom touch of your own. Again, I used the PITT artist pen for this as well, fine tip this time!

bookmarks

IMG_31455. Paint your creations, using Gouache (I like Gouache because the colors are so bright and happy!).

I chose to use the butterfly sample for this particular post because this morning I was on the phone with my creative cohort, Sally Deems. We created the book, Pretty Betty Butterfly, together – Sally wrote it and I illustrated it. We were talking about what a HAPPY little book it is. Sally was telling me that she has received such a positive reaction to the Butterfly book – the overall reaction is that simply flipping through the book makes people feel HAPPY.

So along with this little “open arms” girl I created, it made me feel good to imagine her releasing Betty Butterfly out into the s722216732801892793_p1_i3_w320world to spread happiness!

I think I’ll create more of these butterfly ones as a promotional giftie for those who buy Pretty Betty from me when I receive my own first shipment of copies!

Overall I realize I want my art to make people feel HAPPY – and I’m so glad that these rubber stamps I created for Rubbermoon AND Betty Butterfly are both doing that!

I invite you to come to the new website I set up for Pretty Betty Butterfly and see what Sally and I have been up to! Sally and I are SO happy to put this colorful, delightful book out into the world, and we look forward to making more!

That’s what art is all about for me… spreading love and happiness!

 

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Making a SCRAP-Booky Thing ~ A book/card made from stationery scraps, featuring my Rubbermoon Stamp!

IMG_2968When it’s time for me to do a Rubbermoon post, that’s when my creativity is really challenged. What can I create that’s unique from the scrap materials I happen to have around me? What fun activity can I come up with?

This month I wanted to use a card my mom sent me as inspiration to make something. My mom used my Rubbermoon stamp, “Sending Love,” on a special card she made for me. It was a wonderful surprise in the mail! I wanted to try doing something similar, but ended up going in a very different direction once I realized I didn’t have ANY of the same materials my mom used for her project. I didn’t have a blank card, I didn’t have embossing tools, I didn’t have special shape cutters, etc.

That’s when I became desperate and asked myself, “Okay – what DO I have?” I have a LOT of unused stationery and birthday cards. Yep. A LOT of them. I became interested in using some of my old fashioned styled cards/stationery for this project, and had fun gathering cards and things that worked together as a theme.

What began originally as a goal to create a card made from scraps of my unused cards became more of a fun scrap-booky thing. Okay, that’s my official name for it.

MATERIALS:

  • Stationery/birthday card/scrapbooking scraps
  • hand held hole puncher
  • Ribbon/decorative yarn to tie at holes
  • stapler
  • Rubbermoon Art stamp, “Sending Love
  • scissors and/or small paper cutter

HOW TO DIRECTIONS:

1. Collect similar-themed cards/stationery/scrapbook materials.

Collect unused stationery with a similar theme - I chose old-fashioned styles.

Collect unused stationery with a similar theme – I chose old-fashioned styles.

2. Start chopping them up, and work on covering printed areas with scraps so you can keep the card/book blank to use only for your own sentiments/thoughts/writings.

Chop up your cards

Chop up your cards

I decided to add a sheet of stationery to fold around the other "pages."

I decided to add a sheet of stationery to fold around the other “pages.”

3. Put pages together as wanted, and use hand held hole puncher to punch two holes (top and bottom) to use for inserting decorative yarn/ribbons.

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4. Tie decorative yarn/ribbons through holes – not too tightly, so pages can be opened.

5. Add embellishments as wanted. I added a pocket on the front as special housing for the “Sending Love” note.

Used a piece of decorative unused scrap from birthday card to make a pocket on front. Added antique image as embellishment.

Used a piece of decorative unused scrap from birthday card to make a pocket on front. Added antique image as embellishment.

Stapled top and bottom of added pocket piece to create pocket to slide in "Sending Love" message.

Stapled top and bottom of added pocket piece to create pocket to slide in “Sending Love” message.

6. Use Rubbermoon “Sending Love” stamp as embellishment on removable pocket card.

7. Now you have a fun giftie to use as a keepsake journal or to send in the mail to someone with special sentiments. Since I used birthday cards as a base, the whole thing fits neatly inside a card envelope! Handy!

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Fits neatly inside original card envelope!

This is a fun project to try when you just want to play around with scrap materials – to see what original creation you can come up with!

My Little “Angel of Compassion” Rubbermoon Art Stamp

Original stamp with finished embellished doodle-illustration.

Original stamp with finished embellished doodle-illustration.

I like to see what kind of art I can “fit into” my busy lifestyle. I’m a full time digital artist at Blue Frog Gaming, a angel1mother of two elementary school-age kids, a caricature artist-for-hire, and I love to see what kind of magic I can fit into my life on the side to spice up my life. I usually find an online class or two to participate in and keep me growing creatively and spiritually, nurturing myself as best as I can. I definitely tend to treat myself more harshly at times (we are always our own worst critics), and I can definitely use a dose of self-compassion every day.

A couple friends in my Online Accountability Group encouraged me to join them in an online class hosted by Oprah’s Lifeclass called “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. I’ve committed myself to following the course all the way through, and it’s been tough to keep up with the readings, but the exercises have been very fun to do. The exercises involve art journaling, which fit in with one of my goals this year – to get into art journaling.

In the meantime, I’ve joined the Rubbermoon Creative Team and have consequently been playing more with stamps as I baby-step into art journaling (or should I call it Art Journeying?).

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Simple materials for my quickie art journaling moment!

Sometimes I create time for an extended art project, and sometimes I have only five to ten minutes to whip something together before the creative moment has passed and now it’s time to get the kids ready for bed, feed them, bathe them, or help them with homework.

As a professional artist, I tend to be very critical of my own work. But sometimes I have to simply tuck that inner art critic away into a closet so I can just scribble or spatter something down quickly before that fleeting creative moment passes. And when I DO create something quickly, I tend to grab whatever materials I have close to me. I keep those art materials out in the open for my kids to play with, so I tend to use the same materials: glue sticks, construction paper, washable markers, etc.

sample2

My “Angel of Compassion” becomes a regular character in my art journal!

I wanted to share one of such experiences I enjoyed over the weekend while catching up on my art journal work for the Gifts of Imperfection class. I had pre-painted in gouache some lines in my art journal, intending to use that space for note-taking and recording my musings. As an afterthought, I thought it would be fun to create a little artsy spot in the corner of the page using one of my new Rubbermoon stamps, a little girl holding a heart. It was very similar to a doodle I drew at the top of the page, illustrating how the word “compassion” made me feel. I knew immediately I needed to add wings and a halo to her to make her into a little angel, and then realized she could be my very own little “Angel of Compassion.” So, VOILA! Now I have my own little character to stamp down and customize with wings and halo as I journal through the rest of the course! In a couple following pages, I thought it would be fun to simply stamp her onto the page and add the wings and halo with a ball point pen (again, I like to use materials easy to pluck when I need to instantly grab that creative moment).

As I go through this Gifts of Imperfection class, I am faced with my inner critics that tell me:

  • If you can’t do something perfectly, you shouldn’t attempt it at all!
  • Wait until the paint dries before closing your art journal!
  • Washable markers and glue sticks are for KIDS, you dummy!
  • What are you doing using washable markers on tissue paper?! Don’t you know that will bleed??

I patiently remind my inner critics that this art is for me, not for print or sale in any way. Besides, this art journal is about IMPERFECTION, so you inner critics can go take a vacation to Disneyland where you can take a nice yummy chill pill, okay?

I do intend to make some more time-focused art with my Rubbermoon stamps as well, but for now it was fun to play with this new character I’m coming to love in my art journal. I’m looking forward to the wisdom she shares with me as we journey together in future pages!

Blogtoberfest Giveaway Drawing – Art in Your Mailbox – Support Young Artists!

I created a way last night to make myself get caught up with my AIMM (Art in My Mailbox) postcards. I was so excited to get them in the mail today. Four postcards, going their separate ways to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Australia! Woo hoo!!

Now that my freebie period is over with, I thought I’d do a special GIVEAWAY.

WHAT YOU GET: One free month of the AIMM INTENSIVE (one piece of art in your mailbox EVERY week for four weeks)!!

If you win, I’ll be contacting you to ask what kind of AIMM you’d prefer, and a small questionnaire so I can best send you imagery you will relate to (this gives a taste of what AIMM is all about). Then you will start getting your free AIMM card every week for four weeks! How fun is that?!

Normally this AIMM INTENSIVE would cost $10, and 100% of this money goes directly into the CAW Young Artist Scholarship fund! It is my goal by May, 2013, to award a modest scholarship to two students – one from Piedmont High School (Monroe, NC) and one from Brush High School (Lyndhurst, OH). Please visit the scholarship fund page to learn more or to donate!

So by entering this giveaway you are supporting my cause to raise funds to gift two students with scholarships this year! THANK YOU!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. SHARE a link to this post on Facebook or Twitter or your Blog!

2. Comment below with a link to your post!

HOW TO ENTER AGAIN TO DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING:

1. SHARE this link on Facebook or Twitter or your Blog: http://www.createawaytoday.com/journeys/art-in-my-mailbox/

2. Comment below with a link to your post!

The drawing will take place on Monday, Oct.22. Winner will be contacted via email!

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Art in My Mailbox (AIMM) – NEW Charitable Program at CAW!

Examples for the “Draw Me Happy” AIMM Program

I’m sending fun little cartoony postcards in the mail to my nephew this week to support and encourage him as he gets used to his new school. And a new idea suddenly hit me.

I have always enjoyed sending postcards and letters in the mail, but I have definitely slacked over the past couple years, sending cards mostly at Christmas now. Facebook, Twitter, and email has replaced the postal system to many people when it comes to personal communication (I regret to say for me as well). We so rarely get to open our mailbox and be greeted by a friendly letter or postcard from a loved one.

I think, “Why haven’t I gotten a letter from someone in so long?”

Well, DUH!

Because I haven’t SENT a letter to anyone in so long! People are much more likely to be prompted to write to you when you take the lead and send them a letter first (even a postcard). So my suggestion is, if there’s someone you want to get a letter from, start writing to them first!

And the truth is, it delights me simply to send a letter or a postcard, just knowing I’m going to surprise someone I love with the gift of a letter. Getting a response in the mail is a bonus to me. I truly think of my letters and postcards as GIFTS. No response required.

ENTER my NEW “ART IN MY MAILBOX” Program!

Whee! This TRULY delights me!

Sign up on my website to subscribe to AIMM for 4 months (only $5) or 1 year (only $15) and you will receive a monthly AIMM postcard, custom designed for you! The categories to choose from are: Draw me Happy, Inspire Me, Surprise Me, and Angel/Fairy in My Mailbox.

AND – 100% of the profits (after paying for postage) from the AIMM Program go to fund the Young Artist CAW Scholarships!

If you want to learn more about the Young Artist CAW Scolarship Program, please visit my “CAWses” webpage!

I plan to create these postcards with anything from markers, to watercolors, to collage, depending on where the muse takes me. YOU GET THE ORIGINAL hand-created postcard art in your mailbox. FUN, eh?

I also offer a FREE SAMPLE of AIMM just because I’m so excited about it.

SO, YIPPEE! YAHOO!! I’m having fun with this!

I hope to delight some people soon in the mail!

FREE Create-A-Way Download ~ 16-Day Gratitude Journal!

CLICK HERE to go to "FREEBIES" page!

I was inspired by a free download by Goddess Leonie to create my own little mini-book gratitude journal and offer it on my website as a free download. It seems the appropriate time for a gratitude journal, as Thanksgiving is coming up very soon! Simply CLICK HERE or on image to the left to go to my website, and then go to “FREEBIES” page to find the download.

Gratitude journals are a very good way to keep up your positive attitude on life in general. It helps to focus on the good things on a daily basis. Each page of my little journal allows you to write down five things to be thankful for daily. I encourage you to color the pages, or at least the cover to add a bit of fun and creativity to the experience.

When I try this, it helps me very much. It is so easy to focus on what went wrong with your day.

I am grateful for my KITTY!

This tool will help remind you to focus for a moment on the good things that happened to you today: I made it home safe from work, my child’s cough isn’t as bad today, my day was productive, or simply… I am breathing!

The download is two sheets that you can easily cut-up and assemble. I like to simply staple mine at the upper corner (see photo at right).

My wish for you today… have a Happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment to think of the positives in your life. The more often you practice an “attitude of gratitude,” the more you will continue to attract good things in your life.

Blessings to you!

Dream-ing ~ With Sidewalk Paint!

I had the most wonderful time with the kids over the Labor Day weekend. We got out one of my daughter’s birthday gifts – a pack of Crayola Sidewalk Paint. I had no idea how much fun it was going to be. I really got into it – and since it’s all just liquid chalk, not paint, we were FREE TO GET COLORFUL. For the first time in YEARS my shoes were speckled with bright-colored paint! I had paint on my hands, too – and when it dried it merely turned to dust on my fingers.

We ended up using every last drop of the paint, and wore the chalk down considerably as well. Rose and I could have gone on with it forever. After about twenty minutes, Jack of course was finished and began playing fetch by himself, throwing the chalk into the neighbor’s yard. By the time we had only drops left in the containers, I said, “Hey, Rose! Look at this!” I screwed off the lid, raised the container high, and whipped it down, letting the paint FLY across my “DREAM” painting. OH, it was marvelous. Will definitely have to get more!

I was excited to know that the next day several parents would be walking their kids to school, and people walking their dogs, and I hoped my “DREAM” message might hit a few chords with some. I thought how wonderful it would be to paint something new every weekend with the kids – leaving my creative mark for the neighborhood walkers and passersby to enjoy!

We had a rainstorm last night, and the kids and I watched as our painting was swept away. Rose was upset, but then I explained to her, “Don’t worry! We can just do it again!”

I can’t wait.  🙂

Precious Art for Mother’s Day!

The finished product!

The finished product!

I just finished a new blog entry for CraftsUnleashed.com using Precious Stone material, making a cast of my children’s hands and then painting on it. It was a challenging project – just getting the timing right to do the casting of the hands was tricky. But in the end I am very happy with how it all turned out! I plan to gift this piece to my mother-in-law as a thank you for watching the kids as me and my husband go on a trip to the NC mountains for Mother’s Day weekend. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Rose is 4 1/2 and Jack is 2 1/2 — and I was surprised to see both their hands were pretty much the same size!

Painting this has really excited me. One project I really would like to do this summer is paint my picnic table in the backyard — in a similar style as on this piece. I want bright, vibrant colors! I want to also make more painted creations like this and place them around the backyard. I want to paint our front door like this, too. I want, I want, I want. I guess I shouldn’t pressure myself too much. Over time I’ll develop a yard filled with colorful, artsy creations. And I suppose over time those creations will reflect my own personal journey. It will be interesting what develops.

So many creative dreams this year! I’ve really enjoyed doing my posts for CraftsUnleashed.com. It has forced me into playing with art materials again, and also has given me the opportunity to call myself a published writer!

It’s funny to me — my interest in art and writing has always grown hand in hand from the very beginning, when I first learned to write. This blog writing opportunity has melded the two interests most perfectly.

I see this dual interest (art & writing) growing in my own daughter as well (she loves writing, already – at 4 1/2). Her drawings are always accompanied with words (real and made-up). This makes me pretty happy!

Serendipity ~ Vessels and Fortunate Occurrances

I have finally found time to do some playful crafting lately, while reviewing products for Consumer Crafts’s CraftsUnleashed.com. Having a lot of fun!

Here I wanted to get more personal about the project and talk a little more about what Serendipity has meant in my life these days. I plan to use the vessels as an opening ceremony project for at least one of my retreats this year.

Serendipity has been a huge part of my life lately. I’ve been recognizing serendipity & synchronicity working frequently in my life. It’s amazing how often you see it happening when you really pay attention. The funniest event was when my husband and I stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on our way back from a cousin’s wedding last year. We had never been to Portsmouth before, and were uncertain where we would end up to park so we could look around. It was a Saturday – the city was bustling. We couldn’t believe it, but we ended up (without planning) in the HEART of Portsmouth downtown, at a convenient little curb spot. I looked up from our parking spot, and I could NOT believe the name of the gift shop that was RIGHT THERE by the parking spot we found:

I of course saved the bag from the store and decided to use it as one of the scraps for my Serendipity Vessel project:

You can read the write-up on how to make these fun creations at my CraftsUnleashed.com post.

I am a Blog Writer for CraftsUnleashed.com!

I just have to post about my new gig — I am the official Fine Art writer for CraftsUnleashed.com. It’s a wonderful deal… I choose a product to experiment with from Consumer Crafts and then create a project with it, as well as review it. I feel like this is a milestone for me because for once I am writing for someone else instead of just for myself. Even though I don’t get paid in $$, I get reimbursed for my time by keeping the art materials I play with. Art materials are not cheap. So, really I am getting paid for my writing (YAY!)– with art materials instead of money.

Let’s only hope I can keep up with the demand for articles (two per month). This is a great way to keep my writing skills toned, and to force myself to do hands-on artwork (I do so much artwork on the computer these days — feels good to get my hands dirty with paints again).

Check out my very first article for Crafts Unleashed!