Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blogging for Scrapbookers, Prompt 2: A Bit of Journaling

I've been thinking a lot lately about my days as a Classics student. I'm not sure how it got started, all this remembering. I think it was the change in the weather. For some reason, when the weather starts to turn nice, I start reminiscing about all the time I spent walking around the UW, and my thoughts always turn to the best time I had there, which was my two years in the Classics department. (For those who don't know, "Classics" is the study of ancient Greece and Rome. People always think it's something to do with either music or literature. =P)  Denny Hall (pictured above) and the area around it was always particularly beautiful when the weather was nice. The one time I took classes during summer quarter, I spent most of my time out on those front steps, sitting in the dappled sunlight, reading Greek tragedies and drinking coffee. During other seasons I sat outside as weather permitted. When it was cold and rainy, I sat inside the "seminar room", the window of which you can see on the right of the photo, next to the tree. I was so unbelievably happy in this building. Switching to my Classical Studies major was the first decision I made based on what I WANTED to do, rather than what I thought I SHOULD do. Almost 8 years later, I still think it's the best decision I ever made. It led to many fun adventures, AND I got to spend two years reading Greek literature, learning Greek history, and studying ancient Greek.

At times like this, when I keep being reminded of the "good old days" I spent in the Classics department, the word "nostalgia" takes on new meaning. It's made up of two Greek words: 'nostos', meaning 'journey, return home', and 'algeo', meaning 'to feel pain; be sad; to grieve'. There is definitely a painful element to having such wonderful memories. I think part of me will always wish I could return to that time, because it was so darn fun. Sometimes, I miss it so much it hurts.

I suppose it's kind of ironic that I would write a post about something that's a little emotionally charged for a prompt that talked about the pros and cons of blog privacy, or the lack thereof. But when the prompt said "think about an amazing day in your life", this is the first thing that came to mind. Since it's been popping in and out of my mind so much lately, I thought it was worth writing down. Maybe now that it's "on paper", the memories will recede into the background again for awhile, and I can stop grieving for the end of that particular journey.

Thanks for letting me do a bit of journaling. =)


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Random Distress Fun

First off, I would like to thank the folks that left such kind comments on my last post. I didn't even expect to have any comments, and it turns out they were waiting here for a while for me to okay them! (Then I found out Blogger will send me an alert e-mail AFTER I okay them....that doesn't make any sense! =P) Anyway, thanks again, it was a very nice surprise. =)

I wasn't doing anything productive today so I thought I would finally take some photos of this canvas I finished last week and post them. I had an 8x8 piece of canvas I had picked up on sale at my local art supply store, and I felt like playing with some of my Distress Inks and Crackle Paints, so I decided to decorate it. Here is the finished product:

 Let me see if I can remember all the supplies I used: Distress Inks (Antique Linen, Pumice Stone, Bundled Sage), Crackle Paint (Milled Lavender, Rock Candy, Picket Fence), Tim's Fanciful Flight die (love it!), JBS Mini Papers (Vintage Cream line), JBS rub-on, Hitch Fasteners, Tim's mini flourish mask, Butterscotch and Pitch Black Alcohol Inks, Grungeboard Minis, brads, vellum, and decorative chalks.

Phew! I think that's it. Here's a close up of the butterfly, so you can really see the crackles:
This panel also shows off how beautifully the Antique Linen Distress aged the already vintage looking Jenni Bowlin papers. I think I'm in love. =) It's hard to see here because it's a little washed out, but the letters were painted with Picket Fence Crackle and then inked over with Bundled Sage Distress, because I really wanted a pale green color (the photo of the flowers is tinted green, and I was trying to keep the color scheme) and Ranger doesn't make Crackle Paint in Bundled Sage. (A crime, if you ask me....it's such a beautiful color!)
This panel shows off two firsts for me: my first time playing with masks, and my first time coloring an image with chalks. I thought it would be cool if the bird's breast kind of popped with a bright red color....and then I liked the effect so much I proceeded to color the blossoms as well. =P
The text here is the Jenni Bowlin rub-on. I actually glued down the paper underneath before I had really decided what I was going to put in this panel. If I had known I was going to do text I probably would have used a less busy pattern....oh well. The vellum was really fun here because I wanted it to have an aged, parchment effect, and it turns out alcohol inks look REALLY COOL on vellum. So I colored it with Butterscotch Alcohol Ink, which matched the Antique Linen almost perfectly. Then I misted it with water and heated it with a heat tool to get it all crinkly and curly. I wish you could see it better in the photo, but I really like the way it turned out.

The last panel is just a photo of some lilies I had in my photo files (I think they were in one of the first bouquets given to me by my boyfriend =)  ) which I tinted slightly green in Photoshop, printed, and then painted over entirely with Rock Candy Crackle Paint. This is the best shot I could get of the crackles.
This piece of art has now found a nice little home on these shelves in my kitchen. I was originally going to hang it from some ribbon tied to the hitch fasteners, but I decided I like this spot better. But the fasteners are there if I ever need to move it. =)

Well, it's currently pouring down rain here, so I hope everyone out in blog land is staying warm and dry, wherever they are!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Card- CCC #35

Ok, here goes - 1st real post, with photos! And links!

So I discovered the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge at the Studio L3 blog a little late in the game. I didn't even own the book until a few weeks ago. But now I have book, blog, and a card to enter, just in time for the last challenge! This week's challenge is "Design Details", and even though Tim's book shows lots of grungy stitching and brads, I decided to girl it up a little and make a very pink card for spring. =)

The stitched together strips are all from one piece of paper from the Die Cuts With A View "Whimsy" Stack. That paper was basically the inspiration for the card, because I loved the sparkly butterflies and the pink/brown/green color scheme. The stamped butterfly is from the $1 bin at Michael's! I stamped it with Walnut Ink Distress Ink, embossed it, cut it out, and inked it with Worn Lipstick Distress Ink (have I mentioned that I LOVE Distress Inks?!?). I also inked the edges of the card with Worn Lipstick. The word "spring" is the Sizzix "You're My Cupcake" alphabet, which I glitzed up with some Star Dust Stickles. Here's some close ups of the butterfly and the glitter. =)

Well, I think that's it. Thanks for looking! Hopefully this post isn't completely ridiculous...still figuring out this program..... =P


Monday, March 7, 2011

So It Begins

During the last several months (starting 'round about September), I have discovered that there is a ton of scrapbooking/crafting/general artistic inspiration to be found on the Internet. I'd always heard that people kept blogs about their crafting antics, but I'd never really looked into it, and I always thought that the whole blog idea was kind of silly anyway. But then I discovered Tim Holtz, and starting visiting his blog. Then I found another blog I liked, then another, and another. Then I signed up for Twitter, and found more crafty people whose work I admired. Now I suppose you could say that I've really become quite enamored with this Internet community of people who love to make art. (In fact, my boyfriend refers to it as "craft porn", because I spend hours on the Internet looking at it. =P ) Now I am starting my own blog, because I would like to start participating in all this. It would be cool if people saw my stuff and liked looking at it as much as I enjoy seeing other peoples' work. But I figure, if nothing else, it will give me a place to record some of the stuff I'm doing, and I will enjoy looking back on it later. 

My blog doesn't look like much yet. I'm hoping to have some time to work on making it pretty. Trouble is, I don't even know how yet. =P I'll work on that too. I'm also doing a blogging for scrapbookers class (see button in my Sidebar) and so I'll probably have some content from that class as well, and I'm hoping to post some pictures of things I make for various Internet challenges and such. It should be fun. =) 

Oh, a word about the title. I was trying to come up with a clever title for my blog (this was a while ago), and I had a random sort of eureka moment one night when I realized that my initials, MBM, could also stand for Made By Mary. So anyway, that's where that comes from. I think it's sort of cool. =)
(I use smileys a lot, btw. I'll try to keep that under control. =P)

Eventually I'll have to come up with some kind of cool signature, but for now I think I'll just stick with my "M" that I've been using for years to sign e-mails. Here's looking forward to some awesome blogging.


P.S. I'm getting my first set of Copic markers on Wednesday. I CAN'T WAIT! =)