Emergency Business Card Creativity for My Afternoon at Author Alley!

IMG_3506This past weekend I was excited to be a part of the Author Alley event at Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio – as part of the annual Larchmere Festival! Unfortunately I couldn’t find my business cards for the event, so I was forced to improvise and create some promo materials to act as business cards instead.

I was there to promote the books I’ve published this past year, Wearing My Weird (the 3-book series), and a book I illustrated by Sally Deems, Pretty Betty Butterfly.

I returned to an old technique and dressed it up with adding ribbons to make tasseled bookmarks as my freebie giveaways (to double as business cards).

Materials (to make 1.5″ x 4″ 200 bookmarks/business cards):

STEP ONE: Have FUN, painting on your watercolor paper – be abstract or not, and involve the kids!!! Let them paint whatever they want, because these large painting will be chopped up into pieces 1.5″ x 4″.

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STEP TWO: Let the paintings dry, of course, and then start slicing each page into 5 long 4″ strips (using the Exacto knife and cutting mat – or large paper cutter).

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STEP THREE: Take the 4″ x 15″ strips and use the small paper cutter to chop them into 1.5″ strips.

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STEP FOUR: Start stamping! I used a 3.5″ personalized stamp for the backside of my cards with my website/promo information, and on the decorative side I used a variety of Rubbermoon Art Stamps!

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STEP FIVE: Punch holes in the top ends of the cards to create tasseled bookmarks out of your cards – turning your business card into a fun promotional giftie/freebie!

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These were very fun giveaways, because each bookmark was unique, creating a fun synchronicity for the person choosing it. I received some comments regarding the messages on the bookmarks. People really responded to them positively! I could have easily sold them if I wanted to!

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Mail From “The Center of The Universe” – Rubbermoon Stamp

postcard fandbI just bought this wonderful rubber stamp from Rubbermoon which I totally love. It’s a logo-like emblem with the words “Messages from the center of the Universe” on it. Ever since I first saw this stamp months ago, I knew I would have to buy it eventually.

Here is my first little playtime with this stamp. It seems ideal to use with mailing gifties to people. I wanted to try making a creative postcard with it, playing with synchronicity, not knowing WHO I will end up sending this to, and also not knowing exactly what I’m doing (the best way to play with synchronicity when making artwork).

Here are the steps I took creating my first little postcard:

MATERIALS:

  • Thin board suitable for postcards – I used some card stock I had on hand which I bought from Papyrus: Crane’s KID FINISH CARDS, pearl white, 100% cotton fiber, 4 1/4″ x 6 3/8″.
  • Messages from the Center of the Universe Rubbermoon Stamp! – Small size.
  • Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen (yeah, I know, I use these ALL the time!)
  • Scrap materials – old calendars, old stationery, scrapbook materials, magazines, catalogs, etc – anything with imagery and/or words that inspire you!
  • Glue stick – I like glue sticks – they’re easy to work with, always accessible, and they do the job.

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STEP ONE:

Have fun collaging the front side of your postcard using various scrap materials you find interesting. I suggest you not think so much about who you will send this to – just grab whatever imagery speaks to you. In MY case, I was drawn toward scraps from a calendar I loved – with various inspirational phrases used. I chose one of the phrases to highlight on my postcard, using the background image from one part of the calendar page as the background for my postcard piece, and pasting the torn fragment on top with the lovely quote.

STEP TWO:

Turn your postcard over and stamp the “Messages From The Center of The Universe” Rubbermoon Stamp on the left side where you would normally write your personal message.

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STEP THREE:

Embellish this message area with IMAGES instead of words. Doodle whatever comes to mind intuitively. Perhaps even use the collage you created as a point of inspiration for your doodling. I used a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen – they are just so reliable to use – no bleed, no mess. I used a fine tip for the doodling and a brush tip for the squiggly edging.

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This is a stamp I plan to use a lot in the future for correspondence with the angel work I do. Looking forward to playing a lot more!

Now the really hard part: deciding who to send it to!

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!

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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!

 

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 Art Licensed on Rubbermoon Art Stamps!

IMG_2660For the first time I’ve learned what it feels like to license your artwork on product. I’ve designed products for other companies, but this is the first time I get to see something produced using a piece of my ART on it. Not just an illustration, but something that came out of my heart and soul.

These little gems express how I feel about sending my art and books out into the world. By sending out my heart’s expressions through art and writing, I am sharing my humanity with the world. This includes  sharing my imperfections, making me vulnerable.

What’s cool about having your art on rubber stamps is that it teaches you not to be too much of a perfectionist. Each time you use a rubber stamp, it will look slightly different each time. You might think the whole purpose of a rubber stamp is to create something exact every time you use it – as if it’s your own personal printing plate. Not the case. I you WERE using a printing press, maybe that would be the case, but you are using your own human hand to apply the stamp to paper – and that allows for human error (pressing just a little harder sometimes, or not enough at other times).

Therefore, it’s important to use rubber stamps as a way to challenge your creativity. How creative can you be with the stamps? How many uses can you find for a single rubber stamp? And how can you mix and match different stamp design sets? I’ve been thinking about this as I play with all my Rubbermoon Art Stamps.

I’ve only begun to play with my own set, and I have to admit I haven’t been too creative yet because I’m so close to the designs – I see them as little art pieces themselves, so I want to highlight them to make my own notecards and use to decorate parcels I send out.

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Here’s a little tutorial on how to customize notecards at home:

MATERIALS: Paper of your choice, patterned or solid-colored notecard from your stash at home, Scotch double-stick tape, oil-based paint marker or gel pen, and of course a Rubbermoon stamp of your choice (I chose my new creation, the “tree hugger”, which you can find in my Etsy shop).

1. Stamp on paper of your choosing (I just found some loose notecard material I found at home). I really love my “tree hugger” stamp and wanted to highlight it as art on a notecard.

2. Grab a patterned or solid-colored notecard at home (I have plenty that I feel I can recycle because I simply don’t use them enough).

NOTE: I happened to feel like using these notecards with a golden sheen to them – so I decided to use an oil-based paint marker to create shiny gold accents/embellishments to the stamp art. This was fun to play with. I suggest doing this BEFORE attaching your image to the card, in case you don’t like how it looks, to allow yourself some time to experiment.

3. Attach the stamp art paper onto your notecard. I like to use double-stick tape (I know – not too artsy, but it works). I trust Scotch double-stick tape. It just works well. No buckling or peeling to worry about. Simple. If you’re more picky about using an archival quality tape, feel free to use the kind found in scrapbooking aisles in the craft store.

And VOILA! You’ve transformed some store-bought notecards into your own personalized pieces of art to send through the mail with love! This particular set of stamps I designed would work out well to use as valentines (rubber stamping works very well to use for your kids’ valentines to had out at school… that will be my next project!  🙂

Adding Gifties to my Book Orders – with Rubbermoon Stamps!

IMG_2464I’m having a lot of fun finding different things to gift along with the books I’m sending out. I just published my book, Wearing My Weird, a couple weeks before Christmas, and was SO excited to get some autographed copies out when I received my first batch! The first batch was sent during a time when I had some materials to make some little tag bookmarks. I didn’t have much time to get too crafty, but it’s fun to see what a simple amount of marker and rubber stamping will do to create a little something special.

When I purchase something from a creative person, I often am surprised by what I call “little gifties.” Just small little somethings that make me feel the person I purchased from is thankful for my order. I like to try to do the same for those who buy my autographed books!

For these little bookmarks, I simply used the following:

1) Some 1 x 2 ” tags.

2) Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (the same I use for signing the books – they are great because they don’t smear like other pens or markers!

IMG_24653) The typewriter Rubbermoon art stamp. What’s cool about this stamp is that the heart shape is separate from the typewriter stamp, so you can have fun with the little hearts. For this tag/bookmark I placed the typewriter at the bottom, and stamped the hearts to look like they’re emerging from the typewriter.

On the reverse side (not pictured) with the Artist Pen, I wrote little sayings related to the title of my book, like “Embrace your Weird,” “Write your weird,” or “Express your Weird.” I made sure to sign the bookmarks to show it was a little handmade something from me.

The next time I make a batch, I’d like to add ribbon/yarn tassels to the end, and do some painting as a base, to dress it up more. But sometimes I just have to go with simplicity to make sure I just get an idea out.

I’ve been having fun using various Rubbermoon stamps as simple embellishments like this, finding new, creative ways to use them simply when I don’t have much time to get artsy. Loving this easy tool!

Recycling Calendars and Unused Notecards to Make Christmas Cards – Featuring Rubbermoon Art Stamps

It’s Christmas Card time! And it’s also that very sad time of year when I have to say goodbye to my wall calendar (yes, I still use a wall calendar). I am very choosy about my wall calendars. I like to choose calendars that inspire me visually – so naturally it’s a shame when the calendar has to be folded up and put away. There are times I’ve framed calendar pages because I love the art so much. But I’m running out of wall space, and it’s getting harder to figure out what to do with my precious calendars (and other calendars I’ve received through the year but never use).

So why not make Christmas cards out of them?

In this post I’m not only recycling old calendar pages, but also making use of old note cards I know I will probably never use. It’s very handy to refurbish these old note cards into something more interesting. They already have matching envelopes, which is also very handy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: NEVER USE RECYCLED CALENDAR ART FOR CARDS YOU INTEND TO SELL TO OTHERS. THIS PROJECT IS PURELY FOR PRIVATE CHRISTMAS CARD DISTRIBUTION TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS – NEVER USE FOR SALE.

So let me show you my process of making these recycled/refurbished cards to create really cool Christmas cards.

The only supplies you’ll need are:

  • Old calendar(s)
  • Note cards (blank inside is preferred) & matching envelopes
  • Double sided tape (or glue sticks)
  • Scissors
  • Faber Castell PITT Artist pens (or Sharpies)
  • Stamp ink pad
  • Rubbermoon stamp(s) to embellish the envelopes and blank inside area of cards. I used the New Moon and Angel stamps.
  • Various scrapbooking materials

This is a project that is easy to come back to over time. Set out the supplies at an unused table so you can keep coming back to it throughout the day/week and get little bits of time in here and there. Since there are no paints or glue used here, if you’re pulled away by some kid-related emergency, it won’t matter. You can return to your materials any time, using whatever snippets of time you can.

FOR RECYCLED CALENDAR CHRISTMAS CARDS:

Step One: Trace the area of the calendar image you want to use on your note card. Always trace the area on the back side of image, not the front, so you won’t see pen lines after cutting. I simply find my area of interest by lifting the paper up to a ceiling light.

Step Two: Cut out your traced area – you can use scissors or an exacto knife if you prefer.

Step Three: Place double-sided tape or use glue stick on back of image to adhere to your card. Make sure the tape/glue goes as close to the edges as possible.

Step Four: Place the image carefully on your card and burnish it down with your fist or by placing paper on top of the page and using a flat object to burnish the area down (start in the middle and work your way out when burnishing).

Step Five: Apply Rubbermoon stamp and marker embellishments to inside of card and envelope. This lovely New Moon stamp seemed to match the feeling of the calendar art, so it seemed fitting to use it for the embellishments.

Step Six: I decided to use the art pen to write a simple “Christmas Blessings” message on the front image of the card to customize it a bit.

FOR RECYCLED NOTE CARDS USING SCRAPBOOKING MATERIALS:

Step One: Go through your scrapbooking supplies to find papers and embellishments that work well as a theme. I used a vintage look to go with the crafty paper of the note cards I found. Used note cards that didn’t have a Christmas feel at all and dressed them up to give them a Christmas vintage look. I found some old vintage Santa embellishments and some metallic paper that would simply dress up the card.

Step Two: Since I wanted a crafty look, I tore the edges of the metallic paper. Then I used double stick tape again to adhere the Santa image and metallic paper pieces.

Step Three: I went on the computer to type and print out an appropriate verse/text for the front of the card, measuring the area first to be sure I used the right size. Then cut out the printed area and applied it to the front of the card.

Step Four: Apply Rubbermoon Stamp embellishment to envelope! I liked the angel for this one.

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.

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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!

I’m on the Rubbermoon Creative Dream Team!

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What is the Rubbermoon Creative Dream Team? We are a group of nutty creative folks, certifiably CRAZY about creativity, art, and crafting. And we all have something else in common – we love Rubbermoon Art Stamps and are all loony over Kae Pea and her dreamy art!

I’m looking forward to this new journey as I play with Rubbermoon Stamps and get my hands messy with paint and ink again.

Nothing makes you feel like a “real” artist more than PLAYING with materials. I’ve been doing this more and more in the past few years. I didn’t experiment with my art enough in college – I played it safe. Now as I get older, I see the danger in playing it safe. I’ve spent my whole life “playing it safe.” Now it’s time to get messy (Mom, don’t worry).  🙂

I’ve learned that if you don’t play and get a little messy, you don’t really learn about what art really is all about. Often it is our MISTAKES that create the most interesting art. I used to hate watercolor, for example. I hated it because I didn’t know how to CONTROL it. How can you control how quickly watery paint absorbs into paper? It’s impossible! I hated that – but now I understand. It’s the accident that happens that makes it art more interesting. I’ve become more interested lately in THAT kind of art – the art that is purely expressive and synchronistic. I’ve learned to LOVE how synchronicity can make it’s way into the art I create. That’s when the fun really begins, I believe.

SO… time to GET NUTS!