Sunday, January 7, 2018

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...Not!

Brrrrr! Good morning!

I awoke this morning to a bone-chilling two...that's 2...degrees! As my friends from the North Pole might say, "It's not a fit day out for man nor beast!" I can't remember the last time we were so cold. I thank God that our furnace is still working. I do wish it could keep up a little better though. I had to give the munchkin (a.k.a. Winnie the mini-dachshund) a blankie, along with darling husband, of course. ;-)


While we're only expected to reach 29 degrees today, I'm looking forward to the coming week, which will attain upper 60s by Friday! Hoorah!

So, in keeping with the current situation, I'm posting a card I made a while back with a digital image from Angel's Landing. The original black-and-white illustration is the work of Judi Maddigan, and I produced the color and finished product. This is one of my all-time favorite cards!


I just love these sweet little penguin babies! They make my heart laugh! I colored them with Copic Sketch markers, and then fussy cut around the images and popped them up with some Stampin' Up dimensionals. I had some beautiful winter-themed designer paper for the background. I hope they make you laugh, too.

Well, my office is in a cold part of the house, and I'm about to seek out my own blanket. Thanks for visiting, and please come back again soon. 

You can view some additional cards in my Etsy shop (link above right), if you'd like to pay a visit. I have additional sets ready (including Valentine's Day) and will be posting them there soon.

Stay safe and warm!



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Live in the Sunshine

Hello!

I awoke this morning to a beautiful day filled with sunshine...and a fresh blanket of snow here in eastern North Carolina. Winter Storm Grayson deposited about 4 inches of lovely powder on our yard last night. I sat at the window and watched it pouring down around midnight. I'd say "drifting," which is my favorite speed, but it was coming much too quickly for that. Still, so beautiful!

My favorite thing about snow is "listening" to the quiet when it falls. What a joy to hear the world get still. It doesn't, of course. It just seems that way, and I love the feeling of peace.



Today, the storm is gone, and the sunshine is here in abundance. That made me think of a card I made recently. It uses a Stampin' Up stamp with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote to "Live in the sunshine." There's also an image from Serene Silhouettes - one of my favorite sets. I made a circle mask and sponged on a couple of Stampin' Up inks to make a sun, and then used black embossing ink for the birds in the tree. Easy-peasy!

As the new year gets underway, I think "live in the sunshine" is a really positive message - and one I'd like to adopt. In spite of the world's ugliness at times, there are many opportunities to feel blessed! I hope you feel that way today, too.

Thanks for visiting, and do come again!


Monday, January 1, 2018

Artistic Year Ahead

Hello, dear friends! Happy New Year 2018!

Three years on, and I'm back online. I can't believe time has passed so quickly! It's January 1, and I'm already fulfilling New Year's resolutions: get back online, post on my blog, build my Etsy shop, and start thinking about what's ahead once I retire from my day job.

A lot has happened since I've been away. There have been health challenges, passing of friends, birth of new family members, family weddings, and all sorts of other normal life happenings. I'm sure you've had them, too.

While I started my blog to share craft projects and artistic endeavors, I expect to branch out a bit in 2018. I'll still be sharing some photos (and possibly videos) of what's on the craft table, but I also want to share more of what's happening in life.

I hope you'll join me as I continue life's journey. For now, it's back to work tomorrow after 11 lovely days of leisure. Oh my! Where DID I put that pesky alarm clock!?1? And my winter coat! Highs in the 30s this week in North Carolina. Brrrrr! On the bright side, the days are getting longer. 😊😊

The card sets below are now active in Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/NCKarenArt. I'd be so pleased if you'd help spread the word! Additional card sets and other items are complete and will be posted in the coming days and weeks.







Happy New Year! May God bless you and those you love richly in the coming year! 


Friday, January 2, 2015

Put Your Dreams in Motion

Greetings, friends. Happy New Year 2015!

I can hardly believe it! Another year has entered the history books, and the "new" century seems to be racing along at breakneck speed.

A number of life happenings took me away from my blog for almost all of 2014, but I'm hoping for more opportunities to post in 2015. I've continued my love of crochet and Copic markers since my last post, and I've also developed a new love: mixed media! I hope many of you will join me on my journey of creativity as I discover more about this and other handmade crafts. You'll see a return to some old favorites - and maybe some new ones, too.


The canvas above expresses one of my primary goals for 2015 to put my dreams in motion! This seems especially important as I look forward to the next several years and planning for retirement. I'll continue to work at something, but what that might be remains a mystery for now. Still, I know that I will have a better idea as I explore some of my options. I hope you'll stop by again soon to check on my progress.

Thanks for visiting today. I wish you great joy, good health, and happiness in the coming year. May God bless!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Music is Life - Scrapbook Layout

Hello.

I switched up the order of my posts just a little bit today, as I promised a new card, but haven't yet finished editing videos. If you visited hoping to see that, please be flexible and join me again in a few days for that post.

Meanwhile, just recently I started trying out some new techniques for scrapbooking - at least new to me! I've used these before for card making, but not for my scrapbooks. I've been a more traditional scrapbooker for years, but now I'm attempting to enter the 21st Century!  :-)

I've used a sketch for this page from my newly-purchased book, A Year of Sketches: 52 Scrapbook Sketches - 2013, by Lisa Echerd of Lisa E Design. I can highly recommend this sketchbook to give you some fabulous layout ideas for any number of photos. On top of that, there are links to Lisa's highly popular YouTube process videos. Check it out!

Sample page from Lisa Echerd's newly-published Sketchbook

Here's the page I made from Lisa's wonderful sketch. As you can see, I switched it up just a little bit here and there.  I started with a plain white 12" x 12" piece of cardstock. I used a painting stencil, 30599 Debbie's Floral, from Plaid Folk Art, and applied Ranger Distress Ink in Broken China and Peeled Paint colors to make the flower "frames" for my photos. Then I used some teal Heidi Swapp Color Shine mist to add extra color and interest to the page.


I affixed the two photos of my husband and sister-in-law on a navy blue piece of cardstock, and cut out two "tickets" and two deckle-edge circles for embellishment.

And did I mention I'm so very proud of them both for pursuing their love of music? They're both very talented musicians, and I love it when I get to hear them play. As a side note for any of you who may have played an instrument years ago, but gave it up as an adult, I hope you'll check out the New Horizons International Music Association. This group has spread across the world, offering new opportunities to older musicians, or even those who have never played before. I'm happy to say I helped start the Catawba Valley New Horizons Band in Hickory, NC, and it's still going strong.

But back to my page. I located some complementary designer paper for the horizontal strips and printed out some journaling on vellum. I decided to go for a transparent paper for journaling so that I didn't cover up my great stencil pattern on the bottom right corner. Finally, I added the title, Music is LIFE, along the bottom of the photos.


I must say, starting from a sketch made this page go very quickly. I'm absolutely delighted with the results! I enjoyed using some of my card techniques on this scrapbook page as well. I could get used to this!

Well, that's it for another day. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll come again soon. Happy crafting!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Caught Your Heart - FTHS January Stamp of the Month

Hello.

Today I'm featuring the January stamp of the month by From the Heart Stamps. It seems particularly appropriate as we are busily making our annual Valentine creations.

This cute little kitty is doing what many kitties do: holding a heart. So, 'fess up now.  Is there a kitty holding your heart? 

I will forever remember the time when I was small, and my grandmother always had a cat about. I can remember two that captured me especially. One was a big old tomcat named...you guessed it, Tom! Tom weighed 18 pounds and loved to curl up in my lap, purr, and fall asleep while he got a good rub. 

Then there was "Kitty Baby." Ha! Guess we weren't very original, huh? Kitty Baby was a Persian-Angora mix. She was a deep dusty shade of bluish-gray and had really long fur. I loved her dearly and she was a great addition to our extended family. Then, disaster struck. I was tested for allergies, and being found positive for cats, my grandmother decided it wouldn't do to have Kitty Baby in the house when I visited on weekends.  I was devastated when she gave our little blue angel to my cousin in the next state! Oh my, it was a terrible time. After many years of owning dogs as an adult, I can only imagine how hard that must have been for her. Still, I knew it was only her great love for me that made her do it.

Well, back to my card. This little cutie is colored with Copic Sketch markers. It also features a Fiskar's heart border punch in red, along with a couple of pink papers and plaid pink and white ribbon.


Here's a close-up shot of some of the coloring. I had a lot of fun with stripes in this image.


I repeated the heart border in one of the same papers on the inside of the card to add interest. This card will go to someone in the family who's a cat lover.  Hmmm...now who will it be? So many choices!


Some of you may realize this card used sketch challenge #50 at From the Heart Stamps. As usual, I missed the challenge deadline, which typically comes around much faster than I have time or energy to meet. Oh well, it's still a nice sketch. In fact, I'll be flipping it to feature another cute Valentine card in my next post. After that, I have a new scrapbook page lined up to share.

Thanks for joining me. There are lots of exciting new projects coming up, including a new crocheted lap afghan with an interesting stitch. For those digging out from Winter Storm Leon, or experiencing these extreme, low temperatures in the single digits, I pray you're safe and warm. Peace.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wrist Warmers Using Front Post and Back Post Double Crochet

Hello.  Welcome to Karen's Creative.

Today, I want to share a fun crochet project making Lacy Wrist Warmers. You can find the pattern for these particular ones here at FaveCrafts. (This web address was active as of today's post, but if the link ever breaks, contact me through this blog, and I'll try to get it for you. You may be asked to submit your e-mail for free access to patterns at FaveCrafts. Not certain.)



This pattern calls for two yarn colors, but they can easily be made from a single color. I've done both, and it's really not difficult either way.

You may also wish to make some additional adjustments to this pattern. For example, I left out the next-to-last row, as the wrist warmers were already long enough, and I don't like them too close to my fingers. Second, be sure to check your gauge, and change your crochet hook size up or down, depending on your recipient's hand size.

I've made several pairs of these for myself, family, and friends, and everyone just loves them!  I use them at home when my office gets cold and I'm working on the computer. I can also use them in my office at work. Warmth never goes out of style. :-)  But who needs a reason to wear them?  If your
hands are cold, grab a pair and make yourself comfy!

This pattern features front post double crochet and back post double crochet. This is much simpler than it sounds, but for those who may not have tried it, here's a short video to take you through it step-by-step.


I hope this has given you the confidence you need to tackle this quick, fun project. No need for cold hands any more! Advanced level crocheters can finish these in a few hours.  I can easily do 1 to 1 1/2 pieces per night after work.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll join me again soon for a couple of new card projects. May God bless!