Flower Kitty: Gouache Process Video


Here's another new media for me: Gouache paint!  It's essentially an opaque watercolor, and there are some pretty amazing colors out there!  I picked up a cheap set of 12 at Winners, and splurged on my one tube of Windsor Newton Opera Pink.  This one tiny tube of pink cost  more then the entire color set from Winners, but I couldn't resist.  It's such a beautiful pink!

What I love about gouache is that it reacts to water, but has more coverage like an acrylic paint.  It's a change from a transparent watercolor palette, and I like having the variety in my studio depending on my mood. (although I think I'll stick to my cheapo paints for now, I'm not ready to invest in better quality paints just yet)

I recorded a process video since it was my first kick at the can, hope you enjoy!
Steph
xo






A Look Into My Creative Space



My scrapbook space is located in the basement of our house, in what most would call their "Rec" room here in the maritimes.  It's quite a large room, and my area takes up a little less then half of the space.  I moved in with Dave in 2009 and my scrapbook area has slowly crept from just one desk and a flimsy shelf, to two full office desks and lots of organizational furniture! 

I'd love to take over the other half of the room, but alas, our house is a small one and so the other half is used for miscellaneous storage and things like a piano, grooming bench for the cats and a treadmill.  It's the catch-all area for things that don't have a proper place in our home.


On one of the smaller walls, I have a section of white pegboard that helps me keep my embellishments organized.  I try and keep things out in the opens as much as possible, because I need to see it to use it on a project.  In the past, I've organized supplies in drawers, and forgot what I had in my stash, and sometimes bought duplicates!




One of my most favorite pieces in the room is this quote from Joss Wedon.  It was part of one of this year's ABM Happy Mail kits, and I just love it!  The fact that it was hot pink was just icing on the cake!



Above are the workhorses in this space: 3 Ikea Expedit shelves (renamed Kallax) and the Raskog carts.  The shelves are a lifesaver, and really help me keep my various hobby supplies organized.  You see, I don't only scrapbook, but I make jewelry, sew, paint, knit/crochet and cross stitch as well.

The two Raskog carts are filled with Mixed Media supplies, Project Life cards and most of my cling stamp collection (organized by manufacturer in Avery Elle Sleeves in the pink containers).  I love being able to wheel these around as I need them.

*Disclaimer: there are 3 paintings on the top shelf: girl holding kitty, Hawaiian girl, and girl lounging... that are inspired by one of my favorite indie artists: Tascha.  They are total copies of her work, no original thought at all!


In the above photo you can see the Michael's cubes and Ikea Alex storage cart, along with a very helpful Luna and Athena lounging on my main desk. The cubes are handy, but I would not recommend putting anything really heavy in them as they aren't very durable.  Dave has had to reinforce/reattach almost all of those drawer handles for me over the years.  The Alex cart to the right is awesome, and I wish I had the money to have 10 more of these! 


I have a LOT of things in this small area.  Almost all of my crazy is on display here, and I tend to leave the rest of the house somewhat grown up (well, for me anyway!).  This is my 0.0.0.0, where I love to be creative and most importantly, be myself.  What better way to find inspiration, then to surround yourself with things that you love and make you smile!

I've always been a collector, and having a few of them on display in my scrappy space is lovely.  The Smurf collection began in 1982, most of those figures are original from my childhood.  I also have Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Mr Potato Heads and my Blythe dolls. (The Super Mario belongs to my step son who just turned 16.  He didn't want to give them up just yet, and suggested I put them up on a shelf for safekeeping.)

I also have a many Buffy the Vampire Slayer figures and collectibles, but they are so delicate I haven't found the appropriate solution to display them where they would be safe from the cats explorations and antics.  


Well, there you have it!  My creative space in all it's cluttered organized glory!  The secret to keeping this much stuff manageable is to 1. Use what you have 2. Clean up after each project 3. Purge your supplies at least every 6 months. 

I hope you enjoyed my mini tour! 
Cheers,
Steph
xo

You Are... Adorable: Scrapbook Layout


This sweet girl cracks me up!  Luna is still consumed with the joy of being a kitten, and this photo really shows her funny side!  She gets so wound up when it's play time, that "look" is what happens... she's so intense!

Her first Birthday was just over a month ago, and I don't see any signs of her energy slowing down!  I've heard that Ragdolls don't reach full maturity until they are 4 years old, so we may still have quite a few shenanigans left!

The layout was created with a Studio Calico kit, and again with the layered rectangles and borders!  I swear, I don't do it intentionally... it's just what I like these days!  I think it may be time to dig out my Silhouette machine or at least my circle template and punches!  That would certainly help change things up for me!

Cheers,
Steph
xo

So Cute: Scrapbook Layout


Ralphie is such a dream to photograph!  His personality is very calm and relaxed, so even if he isn't snoozing he's fairly easy to capture.  However he doesn't always look at the camera, so I tend to have a wand toy handy to get his attention.  When he's being particularly cute (in good lighting of course), I take about 10-20 photos and this *usually* guarantees me one in focus shot. 

The layout is my usual "layered rectangle" style with borders.  I know, I know, I'm getting tired of it too... but its what suits my mood these days.  The supplies were from an older Studio Calico kit (Odyssey) I think) and I wish I had 100 of those kitty wood veneers!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
xo



Studio Calico Color Theory Ink: Process Video


The Studio Calico Color Theory Ink refills have been on my wish list for quite some time, and I finally managed to snag the collection during a sale last month! I had seen how others have used it on their scrapbook layouts instead of traditional watercolor washes, and wondered how they would fare if I used them for one of my cat watercolor sketches.

Whenever I want to test anything new, I always go to my default project: Cat sketching!  I just can't help myself, and I've decided not to fight it.... it's what appeals to me, so why not!?

Similar to watercolors, the color vibrancy for the inks vary depending on how much water you add to the ink drops.  Also, the working time is also very limited with these inks,  you can't linger or over think anything.  

I struggled a bit at first with the limited working time (in the video, you can see what happens when I'm adding color to the grey kitty's forehead), however it didn't take me long to gauge how fast I had to work.  Although, I do need to be a bit more careful when I'm working that fast as things tend to splatter around if I don't pay attention.  That's a Stephanie problem though, no fault of the ink ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
xo

Luna the Bunny: Mixed Media Process Video


I was reluctant to even post this video, because you see... Luna the Bunny doesn't exist anymore.  The day after filming, I just couldn't get over how her ears weren't right.  She just wasn't what I had intended, and the following day I covered her in black gesso.  Do I regret it?  Maybe a little bit, because in hindsight, she is cute in her own way I suppose.

The biggest surprise and the most wonderfully unexpected result of filming my creative process, is seeing where I went wrong (for me... as there is no right or wrong way to create!).  After editing the video, I re watched it, and I could almost pinpoint EXACTLY when I overworked the piece and turned it into something I didn't like anymore.

This is such a wonderful learning opportunity, and if I hadn't recorded the process, I would never have figured out: STOP IT WITH THE INK ALREADY!

There, I got it out of my system and put it out there... now only if I can remember this the next time I get messy and play in the studio :-)

Here is the process video, hope you enjoy it!


Products Used:

8x10 wooden board canvas
(I covered it in Black Gesso before the video)

Misc Acrylic Paints
Liquitex Matt Medium
Sharpie White Paint pen (fine point, water based)
Liquitex Modeling Paste

Hard Foam Stamps
(handmade with kids craft items at Dollarama... feels like mini pool noodles!)

Foam/Sponges
(recycled electronic packaging, instead of foam brushes)

Misc Stencils
Bamboo Pen
Glass Pen (Gypsy Road)
Punchinella
Stabilo Pencil
Bubble Wrap
Spectra Art Tissue Paper



LCOM Crop - One Hour Challenge: Scrapbook Layouts


I was in Moncton recently to attend the LCOM Fall crop with the lovely Kristine!  We had so much fun catching up and playing with paper.  We haven't spent any time together since the Spring, so it was a much needed reconnect! 

The crop had two "One Hour Layout" challenges, and I had great fun with the sketches provided!  Having limited time, and limited supplies (since I'm not in my scraproom), really takes the pressure off.  It's a bit surprising, because you would think otherwise.  However, it really forces me to stop over thinking every darn enamel dot placement and to "Get 'er Done!"

The first layout above was a cool chevron sketch, and I used Crate Paper's Wonder collection.  I believe it's meant to be a baby collection, but with all those cute little kitty faces on the paper and embellishments I couldn't resist!

The second layout was a layered layout using Studio Calico's Baxter collection, and I'm still not sure about that pop of yellow... but I'm leaving it in there anyway.  That's what this is all about, to stretch your creativity and get you out of your comfort zone.  I probably would never use this color combo again, but that's ok! 


Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
xo


Rosie Posie: Scrapbook Layout



I'm continuing my Stash-busting journey this year, and so far so good!  I have so many beautiful paper collections that are piling up, and I really would love to use them up before the new trends hit the streets!

The paper collection is an older one from Amy Tangerine, and I just love it!  I thought it was a perfect fit for photos of our foster kitty Rosie sitting on my hot pink chair.  The layout itself is slightly light blasted, as I wanted to be able to SEE Rosie's face!  Who knew that black kitties were so difficult to photograph?  I sure didn't!

The journalling was done with my favourite dollar bin stamp set.  I'm not a big fan of my hand writing, so these come in handy.  (and I love the look!)  It makes a nice change from the typewriters, as I can stamp directly on my layout as opposed to making journalling strips.

I miss this beautiful kitty so much, and we are still her "back up plan" if things don't work out in her happy new home. The experience was a bit of a heart breaker, I found it so difficult not to get attached when they are this sweet!  (Dave chose not to spend hardly anytime with her, he knew it would be difficult to say goodbye otherwise)

However, we would do it all over again: she's happy, healthy and so loved in her new forever home.

Steph
xo

Meow: Scrapbook Layout


These four furry critters crack me up!  I often feel like I'm part of a never-ending Conga line, and I love it!  Sure they are underfoot, and I have to watch out that that I don't trip over them, but having  their company in the house is so lovely.

All four cats are VERY different from each other, and they all show affection and cuddle in different ways.  However, they are all so social they can't help but follow me around the house even if it's just to the washroom and back!

I scrapbooked this favorite photo with a lovely collection by Studio Calico's Seven Paper.  I think it is hands down, my favorite release of 2015.  I love that it's all about cats/dogs and in a pastel palette!  Often pet lines are in browns and oranges and I just find those colors difficult to work with as I'm still on my "bright" kick.

And the kitty wood veneers?!?  I may have ordered about 10 packs of those, I never want to run out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
xo

Château Frontenac: Scrapbook Layout


Last month Dave and I drove up to Québec city for my Birthday and stayed at the Château Frontenac.  What a treat to celebrate my 41st in a castle!

One of my oldest and dearest friends lives in the city, so it was lovely to visit with her and her husband and their 3 cats.  Guylaine and I went through our teen years together,  and she's been there for all the heartbreak and triumphs that the age entails.  The history that we have is palpable.... and when I go too long without speaking to her, the disconnect doesn't sit well within me. 

Spending time with loved ones who accept you, with all your flaws is good for the soul.  I find that as an adult, I spend so much of my time explaining my behavior, and trying to ensure that I'm doing right by so many people, friends, family and coworkers. 

Some days, you just need to chill with the gal that has stayed up so many nights dreaming with you about how our lives would be like when we were old enough to be on our own... she knows your intentions, she knows your heart.   And in turn, you know hers and love her all the more for it.



BlueBelle the Bird!: Mixed Media Process Video

3 weeks.  That's all it takes for me to be out of practice.  I need to remember this, to help me stay focused and maintain my motivation!  Life just got busy this fall and I spent more time in Photoshop then creating and getting messy.  I must remember to find that balance!

I'm not sure how to explain it, but my spirit feels so much better, sated even, when I find the time to create something.  My mind is always thinking of things to do next, things to create, that if I don't try and make one of these ideas a reality every now and again, I feel antsy. 

Here is my latest mixed media piece, BlueBelle the Bird.... she just makes me giggle!  I love this cartoony style, and I hope to make a few more characters (non bird like) with the same googly eyes soon!

Here is the process video, and the Original painting is for sale in my shop!  Thanks so much for visiting!

Products used:

8x10 wooden board canvas
(I covered it in Black Gesso before the video)

Misc Acrylic Paints
Liquitex Matt Medium
Sharpie White Paint pen (fine point, water based)

Hard Foam Stamps
(handmade with kids craft items at Dollarama... feels like mini pool noodles!)

Foam/Sponges
(recycled electronic packaging, instead of foam brushes)

Misc Stencils
Bamboo Pen
Glass Pen (Gypsy Road)
Punchinella
Stabilo Pencil
Bubble Wrap
Spectra Art Tissue Paper
7Gypsys Tissue Paper






Grand Opening! The Creative Cat Lady Shop!


I'm so excited to finally share with you what I've been working on for months!  My own little Art Print shop, full of bright colors and cute funky characters! 

Eventually, the shop will be a combination of Art prints, Original pieces, along with perhaps a bit of funky silver jewelry... but for now I've only listed a few prints.

I've been saving up for months and months to purchase the equipment required to print at home, and I'm just tickled pink that it is finally a reality.  The equipment and software were just the stepping stones... getting the proper scanning and Photoshop skills in place were a bit more of a challenge! haha! 

What a great learning curve though, I love that "outside of my comfort zone" feeling... when you take the time to learn, challenge yourself to just dive in!  I've learned more about Photoshop in the last 2 weeks, then I have in the last 8 years I've owned the software.  The best part, is that I think this may change up my photo printing for scrapbooking as well!  Yay!

Please drop in and check out the shop, let me know what you think!
Cheers,
Steph