#sisterwithheartinart

Over the summer, through the months of June and July specifically, I participated in a online community art project called Index Card a Day.  The idea was to spend some time every day creating something – even something as small as an index card sized piece of art.

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We were to post our work daily in a Facebook Group that had over 2, 000 members uploading amazing creations.  At first I was terrified, because there was SO much good work there – AMAZING work.  I felt sort of silly just posting my little collages, but as is with kind people in a community, I received a lot of support, encouragement and feedback on my posts.  From complete strangers.  Just nice people who love to create and wish to encourage others to do the same.

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In case you’re wondering, 61 days for a project is a LONG time.  And it adds up to A LOT of work, when you’re doing tiny pieces at a time.  Yet, I stayed inspired.  Sure, I had days sitting at my desk when I had NO IDEA what I was going to make, and I’d scramble through my craft supplies to find something, but it was that constant encouragement – that accountability of others expecting me to participate – that kept me going.  That kept me reaching.

ICAD 60

Another platform for the challenge was Instagram, and even though it seemed to be a smaller group participating, it felt like a tighter knit group.  Through the sixty ONE days I saw a lot of great art, commented and encouraged on a lot of art and even made some new friends in the process.  That was like frosting on the cake for me!

A few of us connected after the challenge and decided that we wanted to keep the momentum of creating going – just not every day – so we formed a group called Sisters with Heart in Art!

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So now, once a week we get to create something delicious and receive feedback from our friends!  And guess what – our little group is growing and of course ANYONE can participate.  The great thing about this art group is that your media could be ANYTHING.  It could be painting, scrapbooking, drawing, stamping, collaging, photography, art journaling, writing, poetry, WHATEVER you love to do.  And your interpretation of the prompt can be whatever you’d like – there’s no wrong way to do it!

If you’re on Instagram and would like to see what we’ve done so far you can see it here.  If you’re planning on joining us, let me know so I can be on the look out for  your work!  You don’t have to post every week – just when you feel inspired!  Be sure to use the hashtag #sisterswithheartinart when you post!

So far for September our prompts have been:

  1. Mandalas
  2. Spooky
  3. Fire

And this week’s is RUST!  I hope you’ll join in – it’s a whole lot of fun!  xoxo

Decoupaged Gift Box

A few months ago I set out to wrap a super cute baby doll I had ordered for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday, and ran into a snag.  It was the night before the party and due to the shape of the box the baby doll came in (shaped kind of like a car seat), not only was it incredibly awkward to wrap….I also ran out of wrapping paper while attempting to make it work.

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I put my thinking cap on and decided I would just go ahead and make my own gift box.  I rounded up a few items:  a large Amazon box (thank you Amazon Prime for making it convenient to just ship me every living thing I might need instead of making me go out into the world to shop), some card stock, and washi tape.

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I knew I’d have to cover up all of the Amazon and postage stuff, so I started by running some outlining strips of washi tape all around the box.

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Then, I poured myself a glass of wine and that’s when I was struck with a great idea.  Rather than just covering the box with cute cardstock, I could also personalize it a bit by jumping onto the birthday girl’s parents’ Facebook pages and downloading and printing some cutie-patootie photos.  Thanks, wine!

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I used Modge Podge to glue down the card stock onto the box, and sealed the edges with washi tape.

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It was relatively quick to cut large pieces of card stock and cover the box.

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Another view.

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Click to enlarge if you’d like to see more detail.

The final touch was adding the birthday girl’s pictures, and viola, it was done!  Didn’t it turn out CUTE?!   If I had my druthers I would wrap ALL my presents in this fashion, but time does not always allow.  But next time YOU need a creative way to decorate an odd shaped gift I hope you’ll give it a try – and send me pictures!

Darling Button Bookmarks

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This past week I had the pleasure of being the “Member Spotlight” at my local Chamber of Commerce’s networking breakfast.  What did that mean?  It meant I didn’t have to pay for my breakfast (yay!) and I was afforded the opportunity to speak between 3-5 minutes about my business instead of the usual 30-seconds we all are limited to at this event.

Since what I do is so incredibly visual, I thought it would be fun to bring along a little “favor” to hand-out that would also be “teach-able”, meaning a quick something to share.  I jumped on Pinterest for some quick ideas for button related crafts and saw various ways to make easy-peasy but CUTE button bookmarks and I combined a couple methods I liked and made some this way:

Button bookmarks

String a shank button (hook on back) to the top of a jumbo sized paper clip. Add a some hot glue and before the glue sets lay down a small piece of fabric (I used burlap, but you can use whatever you have on hand) over the glue.

Button bookmarks

Next, trim off excess fabric so that it looks finished on the back, and not showing on the front.

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Viola, you made a cute button book mark!

I attached mine to a few promotional pieces I made – a postcard with my upcoming class schedule, and I made a separate postcard with this here button bookmark tutorial so if folks liked them, they could make their own!  And of course I clipped my business card to the top of it all.

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The handout was a hit, and at the end of the day when I ran into my friend Garret at another Chamber of Commerce event, I learned he had worn his bookmark as a jacket lapel pin all day!  How cool is that?

That's Garrett right there in the suit with some of my other fun Chamber of Commerce friends!
That’s Garrett right there in the suit with some of my other fun Chamber of Commerce friends!

It was fun to pass out the goodies.  They were so well received that I decided I’d have some made up at all times and in my bag for when I’m out and about in my daily travels – it would be a nice leave-behind when introducing my business to someone new.

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A set of 6-12 bookmarks would make a darling little gift for someone – a hostess gift, a gift for that friend who always has her nose in a book or magazine, or even an office worker whose desk is bedecked with cute office supplies.  If you make some, be sure to show me!

 

How to make a tribute video for free!

My friend Rick is very special to me.  We’ve been friends for about five years and he’s one of those people who just radiates fun and love.  He has an amazing sense of humor, he’s creative, and he can cook, bake and make a cocktail like nobody’s business.  The guy has it all, is what I’m saying.

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This past year Rick went through a very major event in his life.  He’s been through a gigantic personal whirlwind and his life has changed in ways that would be astonishing to most.  They sure are to me, and he has inspired me in ways he doesn’t even know.

For Rick’s birthday a couple of months ago I kept wracking my brain on what to get him.  What do you get someone who has been through so much in such a short amount of time?  I wanted to make him something that would SHOW him what he’s accomplished in the last year.  And that’s when it hit me….I’d make him a video.

Introducing, Animoto.com – a FREE service for creating very cute and even professional looking videos, using still photos and video clips.  I’m going to show you step by step how I made this video, so you too can make one for a loved one who deserves a SUPER special gift straight from the heart.

Here’s the video I made for Rick:

 

Step One:  Sign up for an Animoto account.  A basic account is free, but you can join for paid services like I did,  if you want more bells and whistles.

Step Two:  From the dashboard, press the Create button to get started.

Step Three:  Choose your style.  Feel free to click on a bunch and find one that has a look or feel that you  love.  Note, some will be marked premium and won’t come with the free account.  The style I chose for Rick’s is called Rustic.

Step Four:  When you’ve found the style you like, click “Create Video” on the same page as the sample you just watched.

Step Five:  Choose a  song.  You’ll see a little musical note in the section you’ll be working in – it’s the song that came with the sample preview you just watched.  If you’re not feeling it, you can click on the song and it will pull up a library you can scroll through until you find just the right song.  The one I chose for Rick is called “Life” by Beckah Shae.

Step Six:  Get your pictures.  What I did for Rick’s video was….steal.  That’s right, I stole a bunch of pictures directly off his Facebook account and saved them to my computer.  Since I was trying to highlight the past year of his life, I made a folder on my desktop for his folder, and as I pulled down a photo I’d name the file by what month it took place in (ie. March 1, March2, March 3, etc.).  This way when I pulled them into the video editing software I could put them in order without really thinking about it.  If you don’t have a social media account to pull photos in, feel free to use your own photos – easier to do when it’s for a family member and someone you have a lot of photos of.  You can always as k other people to send you photos, too.  Be creative!

Step Seven:  Add your pictures.  Keep uploading pics into the boxes with the plus in the middle.  You can also add text to the photos if you want to identify what’s in the picture.  Moving pictures around to  a different order is really easy with drag and drop.

Step Eight:  Preview your video.  From the dashboard, click on the light blue button “Preview Your Video” – now you’ll be able to see how it looks – are the pictures in order, is the music fitting for it, do you like it?  If not, you’ll see you’re offered the opportunity to go back and edit it as many times as you’d like.

Step Nine:  Produce your video.  Once you’re sure it’s exactly the way you want it, simply press “produce video” to finalize it.  It will take  you to a finished page that shows the video as well as options for sharing it.

Step Ten:  Share your video.  You can send the recipient the link to the video through text or email, or you can embed the video right on their Facebook page – it’s all up to you!  Get your tissue ready though – as in my case Rick made me cry because he cried, too!  A good cry!

Happy video producing!  If you get stuck along the way, don’t hesitate to ask me for help!

 

 

 

 

“Bling” Tablescape

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in a friendly table decorating competition that was a part of a fundraiser for the Sacramento Children’s Museum.  My fab instructional partner Maria Schiffler of Sapphire Herbal Boutique jumped in to help me when I froze  up on what to do for centerpieces.

Here’s how it turned out and a little info on the pieces:

 

Cheers on a job well done!
Cheers on a job well done!

Maria and I sitting down for two seconds after finishing the table.  We had to be at the city hall at 8:00 a.m. to set up, which meant everything had to be ready to go the night before.  (I just had to fix that last sentence – originally I accidentally wrote “which was mean”.  HAHA! )

A shot of the full table:

Full shot.
Full shot.

Bling, bling, bling!  Ignore the trash bag to the right, that was for final clean up.  This is the shot I sent to my husband when we were done.  There was so much silver that he thought I had taken a black and white picture and then used a filter to add a couple color pops.  Nope, this is full color.

Another view.
Another view.

I’m  not sure what the exact judging criteria was, but to enter the criteria was service for ten – lunch plates, dessert plates, forks, knives, spoons, water glasses, wine glasses, cups and saucers.  Cream and sugar and favors were optional.  We had it ALL on that table!

Close-up of a place setting.
Close-up of a place setting.

Maria loaned me the lovely sparkly table cloth, I already had the chargers.  Get this.  The glass plate, the forks and knives and the water glasses (that you can just barely see to the left of the plate there) with the hammered look are from THE DOLLAR TREE.  I know!  I thought the hammered look gave it kind of a bubbly look!  The “diamond” confetti you see on the table was a score from Amazon, thanks to my friend Carolyn telling me about it.  The napkins were from Maria’s vintage collection and I made simple napkin rings from glittery wire ribbon.  Glittery is an under statement.  I was finding glitter all over the place for days afterward, hee!  The gorgeous dessert plates (and  wine glasses, cups and saucers) with the gorgeous silver trim and filigree pattern were on loan from my sweet friend Heather.  I love having sparkly friends.

A bird's eye view.
A bird’s eye view.

I added a little bling to the black note cards at each place setting and inside was a welcome note that said, “Hello!  The table you are enjoying today was designed by two friends who love the beauty of BLING, and the beauty of nature.  We are Bea Lopez of Bea Creativeish (Crafting and Creative-type classes for adults) and Maria Schiffler of Sapphire Herbal Boutique.  If you’d like to learn about our upcoming classes, please visit www.beacreativeish.com.  Please enjoy the jarred succulent as our gift to you.”

Close up of the favors.
Close up of the favors.

Yep, the favors were cute blingy jars (from The Dollar Tree that I added some bling to) and Maria filled them with glittery sand, a sea urchin (that she painted pink) and a succulent INSIDE the urchin.  How CUTE are those????  She even printed out instruction cards so the guests knew how to take care of them once they took them home.

Do you see the BUBBLES on the table?  Those were Maria’s too, and they were probably the piece people were most fascinated in – they wanted to pop them!

Oh and hello wee salt and paper shakers to the right – those are my friend (and neighbor) Danielle’s!

Sea urchin succulent
Sea urchin succulent

Cuteness!

And speaking of succulents….

Succulent centerpieces.
Succulent centerpieces.
Succulent centerpieces.
Succulent centerpieces.

Maria put together these gorgeous succulent centerpieces with the same glittery sand and some bling-y rocks.  The rounds under the centerpieces are actually cake rounds that I wrapped in adhesive paper.  The sign holder is a vintage perfume bottle.  Our table was 16, so we thought it would be fun to call it Sweet Sixteen.

Well, we didn’t win, but my goodness did we have fun.  And we received so many wonderful compliments – not just from the people who were seated at our table, but from others who took the time to go around and visit the tables.

We’re already thinking about what we’d like to do next year!  Thanks for taking a peek!