Art Journal: Irish Luck, April Showers & May Flowers

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.

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Irish Luck

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.

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April Showers

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.

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May Flowers

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!

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Competition entries for TonnerCon

I’m a doll collector. Have been since I stopped playing with them and started displaying them on various shelves. Several years ago, I made the jump from Barbie collector to larger fashion dolls and Asian ball jointed dolls. One of my favorite companies is the Tonner Doll Company. I have… an embarrassing number of Tonner/Wilde Imagination dolls. But they’re so pretty!

A few years ago, I started attending the Tonner Doll convention, usually held twice a year in various cities around the country. It’s a great way to spend 3-4 days, with people who “get” your brand of crazy love for plastic and resin dolls. During the convention, there is always a competition room. Attendees are sent a list of competition categories a couple of months before so they can work on their creations. I don’t participate much, because I couldn’t sew my way out of a paper bag. But sometimes there are categories that aren’t sewing-related, and I can participate.

This year’s TonnerCon, held June 2-4, 2016, in Columbus, OH, which was the weekend of my 40th birthday. There were two competition categories I was interested in… creating a dress/outfit entirely out of paper and the craft category, which was for any handicraft other than sewing. Score!

My paper dress, which I modeled on Tonner’s Victorian Basic Cami doll, was made of yellow tissue paper and over 30 handmade flowers, utilizing over 100 punched flower shapes. Even though I didn’t place in this category, I had a lot of fun putting it together.

"Tiptoeing Through the Violets"
“Tiptoeing Through the Violets”

I’d entered the craft category at a previous convention, with a cross stitch piece of one of the Wilde Imagination dolls. As this year was celebrating the Tonner Doll Company’s 25th anniversary, I wanted to do something to acknowledge what an amazing company Tonner is. Their motto is “Believe in the power of play,” and as I had recently taken up quilling, this was what I came up with, my second-ever quilling piece…

"Believe in the Power of Play"
“Believe in the Power of Play”

I won third place for this! And the Tonner Doll staff loved it! One of the other attendees liked it so much, she wanted to buy it from me. But as it was my birthday, I decided to give it to her. I hope she enjoys it! ❤