My name is Caroline. I live in a small Tennessee town. In an effort to make my life seem less boring, I started a blog. Here you might find a smattering of random things in my life -- books, movies, television, a little social commentary, a pinch of photography and the pitfalls of being a Small Town Girl.
My latest project is, I think, the most popular thing I’ve ever created. (Going purely based on the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook, ha ha.) When I was a little girl, I was absolutely crazy for unicorns. But my poor mother had a hard time finding anything unicorn-related in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Nowadays, unicorns are everywhere, but when I was small, you really had to search for them.
I’ve mostly left my unicorn days behind me, but when I saw the Kaisercraft Unicorn Wall Art plaque, I fell in love and bought one immediately. I wanted to decorate it make it sparkly… but that’s as far as my planning went. When I received it, I had zero ideas on how to decorate it. So, I set it aside for a few weeks.
Then last week, I was perusing some of the challenge boards/blogs I frequent to see if I could be inspired for a new project. I wasn’t looking for ideas for the unicorn, per se, but when I click on the Mixed Media Place mood board, the image in the top right corner of the night sky grabbed my attention right away.
I had several pieces of pretty galaxy scrapbooking paper I bought on whim with no idea how to use and the mood board image reminded me of it. But what to do with it? Then my eyes fell on my blank unicorn plaque and I immediately thought, “Space Unicorn!”
And so, she was born…
It took two sheets of the scrapbook paper to cover the entire unicorn, but I managed to hide the place where they meet using embellies and my sentiment sticker. I glued the paper down, then went to town with flowers, ephemera and bling. I used ephemera and wood pieces from the Kaisercraft Stargazer collection. The flowers were mostly Prima, Petaloo and 49 and Market. The horn I heat embossed with Silver Tinsel powder by Ranger.
She turned out much better than I anticipated! I’m actually rather in love with her.
July is a busy month at work for me, with people out on vacation, but I’ll be working on my July Julie Nutting art journal layout next. Thanks for stopping by!
Happy June! I can’t believe the month is half over already! My birthday was at the beginning of the month, so I treated myself to some new toys, including the 3D Vignette dies from Spellbinders. I’ve only played with two of them so far, but I am having a lot of fun with them. And I have so many ideas!
Best of all, they fold flat for mailing!
The first one I tried was the Grand Arch die set. It’s a really cool set. I think it would spectacular with the scroll work cut all the way through, but I really wanted to use some of my favorite Memory Box dies to create a woodland scene. And I figured I might as well get a jump start on Christmas cards. It’s never too early, right? It’ll be here before we know it!
The beauty of these Memory Box dies is that they get progressively smaller, creating a tunnel-like effect. I cut all the layers in white for a snowy feel. I added the little church at the very back to give the illusion of distance. I inked it with Tea Dye Distress Ink just to have it stand out a little. The deer was also inked with Tea Dye, then edged with Vintage Photo. And just for a pop of color, I also added a red Cardinal to watch over the forest.
I die cut the back panel in vellum so I could add a battery-operated tea light behind it. It’s an amazing effect. I just wish I could capture it better in a photo!
For my next 3D card, I decided to make my dad’s Father’s Day card using the Grand Dome die set. I decided on a nautical theme as dad just loves messing around in boats.
I cut my layers using papers from the St. Tropez collection by Prima. My focal images were all fussy cut from the lovely Sand & Sea collection from 49 & Market. I also added some Flower Soft for some scrubby beach grass and some twine around the posts for the salty ocean look. The final touches were adding some tiny starfish, Mini Art Stones and a couple of die cut seagulls.
I also made my first little video for this card. It’s not a tutorial — I’m not up to that point yet. But I wanted to show how the card folds flat for mailing.
I really should learn not to make grand plans, especially for my vacation weeks. I was on vacation for the last week of May through my birthday on June 4. I had grandiose plans of crafting all week, catching up on some blog posts and maybe trying my first video. Then I learned my nephew was coming to stay with us for a few days. Cool. Maybe I’d have to do fewer projects than I planned, but I could still get in some crafting time.
Then I got sick.
I’m talking cotton in my ears/unable to breathe through my nose/head in a vice sick. On my very first day of vacation. Went to the urgent care clinic to get some steroids to help my breathing since I have bad asthma as well and basically stayed in bed for six days.
So much for crafting on my week off!
I did, however, manage to do a couple of small things, including my May layout for my Julie Nutting art journal. And since I never got around to doing blog posts for March and April, this is me trying to play catch-up.
March almost got away from me because of how busy work was that month, so my St. Patrick’s Day layout was a little rushed. I used an Irish-themed paper pad by Authentique to paper-piece the dress of the Julie Nutting Doll with Ruffle Dress.
I wanted to have a leprechaun in the scene, but since I didn’t have any leprechaun stamps, I cobbled one together using the gnome from Lawn Fawn’s Gnome Sweet Gnome stamp set and the top hat from the Hero Arts Happy New Year set. I also die cut a rainbow using the Lawn Fawn Rainbow die and colored it with distress inks, though looking back, I wish I had used Copics.
The flowers and pot of gold are by Memory Box and the grass is Lawn Fawn. I added my sentiment from the same paper pad as I made the dress and put everything together just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
Of course, April’s layout had to be an “April Showers” theme. I have to say, I really like how this one turned out! Looking through my stamps to see what I could add to an “April Showers” theme, I came across the Hero Arts Raining Cats and Dogs stamp set. Perfect!
I had a super-cute raindrop piece of scrapbook paper for the background and added some clouds cut from grey cardstock using the Lawn Fawn Cloud Borders die. I inked the edges with some Hickory Smoke distress ink to make the clouds a little darker.
I used the Camille Julie Nutting doll for this layout and paper-pieced her dress using one of Echo Park’s Dots and Stripes paper pads. Her umbrella is a Spellbinders die called Umbrella Trio.
The hills and trees are Lawn Fawn dies. I stamped my cats and dogs and colored them with Copic markers before using the coordinating dies to cut them out. The sentiment is from the same stamp set. Though you can’t see it in the photo, as a final touch I added a glitter pen to some of the raindrops in the background.
What should follow “April Shower” but “May Flowers”! I had actually stamped and colored all my pieces for this layout in April, hoping to get May’s layout done in a reasonable time, but of course, life happened and I didn’t manage to get it put together until the very end of the month.
The background for this layout is another piece of scrapbook paper, this time by Ella and Viv. It had a lovely, pastel spring vibe perfect for my flowers. The Julie Nutting doll is Collette. Her dress is paper-pieced in a mish-mash of pink scraps from my stash.
The flowers are a fun stamp set from Simon Says Stamp called Artsy Flower Parts. They do have coordinating dies, but I ended up fussy cutting mine since I didn’t want the white border around the die cuts. I stamped them onto a piece of paper, then covered them with gel medium. When they were dry I used my Faber Castell Big Brush Markers to color them. By coloring over the gel medium, the ink doesn’t dry right away and you can push and smudge it with your fingers.
The lake is from the Lawn Fawn Bayou Backdrop die set, which I cut from blue cardstock and inked with distress inks. I stamped some of the flowers from the Simon Says Stamp set directly onto the page and glued the ones I had cut, hand-drawing the stems.
The sentiment is stamped using the Tim Holtz Block Lower Case cling foam stamps for the word “Bloom” and the Concord and 9th Perfectly Penned stamp set for the rest of the quote. As a final touch, I added some butterflies I had left over from making my Mother’s Day card from the Lawn Fawn Fab Flowers stamp set.
I’ve already got June and July’s art journal layouts planned out in my head… I’ll just have to wait and see if I can get them done before the end of the month this time!
National Scrapbook Day 2018 has come and gone, so I thought I’d share my makes for this year. I had planned on knocking out my mom’s Mother’s Day card early and work on other projects later in the day. Well… that did not happen. The card took all damn day. But it turned out pretty and I know she’ll love it, so it was worth it.
I did this card based on a Lawn Fawn YouTube tutorial. I used Lawn Fawn’s Fab Flowers the How You Bean? stamps and die sets to make this shaker card. I love getting Mom flowers, but they always die after a while, so this way, her card of flowers will last much longer. She still has last year’s Mother’s Day card on display, so I think she will like this one. And I ended up die cutting so many flowers, I had enough for two cards. The other I plan on adding to my craft fair stock.
Speaking of craft fairs, my goal this year is to attend one for the first time. So I am trying to build up some “stock” to sell at the annual craft fair held in my town before Christmas. I think I will mostly be making cards, but I have a few art pieces I’d like to add in as well. I’ve made four works using Oxide inks and Lavinia Stamps and I thought they turned out rather well. The artworks are 5×7, placed in a decorated 8×10 mat. I don’t know if anyone will be interested in them, but I’m pretty pleased with them.
Speaking of cards, here are some samples of ones I will be making for the craft fair.
Of course, if any of my dear readers are interested in anything ahead of time, just drop me a line at email@example.com.
I’ll be back in a few days with updates on my Julie Nutting monthly layouts!
A new month means a new challenge issued on the More Than Words Challenge blog. I entered my first in February and had a lot of fun with it. I had to skip March due to various conflicts, but April’s theme was just too good to pass up.
I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to pretty photographs that pop into my feed, and a good portion of those are of cute animals. So that is what I used for my inspiration. I scrolled through, trying to find a photo that would spark something, and I found a pretty picture of koi fish. I love koi and the koi pond in the Japanese Gardens in Sydney is one of my favorite spots in the world, so I chose to use koi in my layout.
My first attempt at this layout was… just horrible. I started it, but just did not like where it was going, so I scrapped my first attempt and decided to try something different. I used watercolor paper to flow grey and red sprays as my background. While trying to get the color to flow, I accidentally let a little bit of it drip down the paper. I thought it looked cool so I added a few more. I then used some background stamps for some added interest all over the colored portion.
After that dried came the layering. A piece of chipboard painted with gold Sparks paint, flowers and ephemera pieces from Kaisercraft’s Hanami Garden collection. I also added some die cut koi after painting them with watered-down distress inks. The large koi is from Hero Arts and the smaller ones are from Memory Box/Poppystamps.
To finish, I added some color to the flowers, some mini art stones, Finnabair Melange pieces and a quote sticker from Tim Holtz. I also added some clear crackle glue on top of the fish. It’s hard to see in the photos, but in person, the crackles look like fish scales.
The whole layout took three hours, start to finish. I had just sat down to do the background last night, but I was having so much fun, I just had to keep going. Thanks for stopping by!
So, I’ve never participated in the Mixed Media Place challenge before, but I was inspired by the February challenge and looking at all the fabulous entries. I found it too late that month to participate, but when the March challenge was announced, I fell in love with the mood board and thought I’d join in the fun.
Well… things did not go according to The Plan. I got sick. Work got crazy. Anxiety got worse. And I just did not get to do what I had intended to do for the challenge. Still inspired by the mood board, I found a few minutes of free time this past weekend, so I sat down to play in my art journal.
And once again, nothing went as planned. By the time Saturday evening rolled around, I had an art journal background that was, to be frank, a hot mess. I was frustrated and tired, and I thought, “Ah well. I’ll just toss this and work on something else tomorrow.”
I didn’t sleep much Saturday night, because my anxieties like to keep me awake obsessing over little things… like my failed background. So when Sunday morning dawned, I decided that, yes, the background was a hot mess, but it was a hot mess I had created, so I was going to OWN IT.
And I finished the layout. It’s not perfect by any means, but I am now happy with it. I used mostly Finnabair mediums — Crackle Paste, Sparks and Metallique paints. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it’s a super shiny background. I just love using those paints!
Hopefully someday, things will go according to The Plan… but I won’t hold my breath. 😀
Happy Easter …. a couple of weeks late! I swear, I had every intention of getting this up in time for the holiday, but my week of vacation turned into days in bed sick followed by doctors visits, so I didn’t get a lot done! Maybe on my next vacation I can keep myself well enough to work on some projects.
So for today, I have one tutorial and a spring-themed project to share. My tutorial is for decorated Easter eggs. Or, since Easter is over, spring eggs!
I started off with two paper mache eggs from Hobby Lobby. (I got a bag of 5 for less than $2.)
My first step was to cover them both with tissue paper. I used a scripty tissue that I bought off Amazon a couple of years ago. It gets mostly covered up, but you can still see some of the details in the finished egg. I used Multi Matte Medium by Ranger to glue on the paper.
After they dried, I then painted both eggs with a thin coat of white gesso… not enough to cover the script, but just enough to push it into the background. While that was drying, I cut some cheesecloth and sprayed one with Prima Color Bloom Mustard Seed and the other with Lindy’s Maidenhair Fern green to dye the cloth.
I then added just a little bit of Color Bloom Tea Stain and Lindy’s Sea Mint Green just for some deeper tones. When the cloth was dry, I used Multi Matte Medium to glue the cloth onto the eggs.
I dry brushed just a little bit of white gesso onto the cloth before attaching some lace and a string of pearls onto the eggs.
Then came the fun part… decorating! I layered on different small flowers of yellow and green onto my eggs. With the green egg, I also glued on some die cut scraps out of my scrap box.
Next I poured a few Prima Art Stones onto a paper plate and sprayed them with the same sprays as I’d used on the cheesecloth. When they were dry, I dipped by brush into the glue, picked up some stones, and went around both eggs for some more texture. To add a little bit of shine, I also glued on some gold and green seed beads as well.
For final touches, I added a purple butterfly from Reneabouquets onto the green egg and a vellum butterfly from 49&Market onto the yellow.
I had so much fun making the eggs, I decided to do a couple more a few days later. Only, these were simpler.
I first painted the entire egg with white gesso, then I did one in lavender and one in robin’s egg blue chalk paint. I glued ribbon/lace onto both eggs again, this time going up over the top of the eggs instead of around the center. To the purple one I added simply one flower, a twine bow, some bead stems and a couple of gems on the side. To the blue one, all I wanted was one of Reneabouquet’s beautiful butterflies with a couple of extra gems glued onto the wings.
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Unfortunately, as most of us in the U.S. can attest, spring has been slow in arriving this year. I have been so sick of the cold weather, I knew I wanted to do something that just screamed spring, so I made a wreath using pink flowers for cherry blossom season.
Most of the flowers used are from Prima’s Cherry Blossom collection, with a few others thrown in for size variety. The wreath I got at Hobby Lobby as well. I think it was around $4 or so. Nothing fancy to it, I just layered and glued flowers on with a hot glue gun until I was happy with it. I also added some ephemera from Prima’s Lavender collection and another Renea dragonfly. Maybe spring will show up soon so we can enjoy some real blossoms!