Lindy’s Stamp Gang Entry

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I haven’t done any entries yet this month – yikes!!!  But here is the creation for the Lindy’s Stamp Gang August Challenge.

The challenge this month is inspired by a summer evening beach bonfire.

My creation was inspired by summer, but I took the colors away from the beach.

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I used an embossing folder to create texture and emboss a honeycomb pattern on a recycled book page.  I used Midnight Sapphire Obsidian Embossing Powder to create the background.  I then colored the page using Alpine Ice Rose, Edelwiess Moss Green and Wake Me Up Before I Go Gold Shimmer Sprays to add color to the page.

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I stamped and embossed the canvas background using gold embossing powder solvent ink, then I made a flower accent using coffee filters.  I colored this flower using the Wake Me Up Before I Go Gold spray, then added some metal pieces using distress glue.

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Finally, I added a friendy little bee charm to remind us all to “Be Kind”.  What would YOU create with this color inspiration?

~Nikki

  

I’ve Been Hired!

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Last week I was contacted by a local social group.  They were looking for someone to teach a watercolor class.  So guess what, I’ll be teaching a watercolor class to about 15 – 20 people in a week!  How exciting is that?

So, I am trying to figure out what to teach.  I’ve been playing with my watercolor paints and been looking for something that will be fairly simple and easy to teach.  I’ve tried a sunflower, but I think that may be a little difficult for a beginner.  I think I may steal borrow from some of the online tutorial instructors that I’ve seen on the web and begin with some basic bending and go from there.

First, we will learn how to use just a few colors, blend them together and see how they work on both wet and dry paper.  During this step we will also get a feeling for how the paint flows from the brush, how a wet to get the brush and how to control the intensity of the paint.

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Next we will learn about layering paint, how to do a color wash for the background, and then using the same colors, how to get the foreground to stand out.  These tickseed flowers are the way I plan on teaching these techniques.

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Finally, we will put it all together in painting this coneflower.

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These are just my ‘playing around’ and planning pieces.  I am going to put it together on a single page in an organized way so the final paintings, if the participants wish, can be framed.  I can’t wait to help encourage a new group of people to explore their artistic talents!

Wish me luck,

Nikki

  

Refreshed and Ready to Go!

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Phew….  I really needed that break!  I put everything out of my mind, locked myself in my creative space (as much as one can lock themselves in the corner of the busiest part of their house) and started with a blank piece of paper.  Then a few canvas boards.  Then some cardstock…  I really needed the release that art brings me.  I’ll share all my creations with you in due time, but here is the one that started the stress purge:

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I started off by spritzing the whole paper with water, then using Tim Holtz’s Distress Reinkers and dropped colors of ink on the page.  I mixed that with some of Lindy’s Stamp Gang Hot Shots for a touch of glimmer.
I wanted more of a ‘circular’ theme than I got with the original background so I used any glass I could find within reach and dipped the bottom (or the rim depending on the size) in some ink and intentionally left glass rings on my page.
Once the page was dried I outlined the boarders of the different colors using black pens of different thicknesses.

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Once I was satisfied with the background I used some molding paste and one of my geometric crafter’s workshop stencils and added some dimensional rectangles to the piece.  The molding paste was white, but I have learned that when it is applied over a water based ink the dye will be absorbed into the paste.  I wanted that with this project.  If I wanted it to be pure white I could have sprayed a working fixative to the piece after the inks dried.

To mimic the circles on the background I used a compass and drew different size circles on my page, layering them on top of one another.  I then headed over to my sewing machine and followed the sketched circles with my zig zag stitch.

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Finally, to bring back both the circles and the rectangles I used a combination of square and round embellishments to finish the piece off.  You can find these square scrabble tiles, a round charm, round brads and grommets, and rectangle acrylic tiles that were colored using alcohol ink.

I have to say, I really love this piece – the way the geometric shapes are layered and repeated, the colors and the way the flow and the sentiment – what I needed to do while making it – remember to BREATHE!  And then to DREAM of what is possible!

Hope you are all well~

Nikki

  

Pressure is Building

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I don’t know why, but I feel an enormous amount of pressure.  I feel my blood pressure increasing, my heart pounding and I just can’t seem to get things to calm down.  I’ve tried to find the sources of my stress, but I just can’t put my finger on the one place.  It seems like things are coming at me from all sides.

I know time is an issue for me, I feel like there are so many things to do and so little time to do them.  Finances are also a source.  There never seems to be enough money for everything we want – we can cover what we need so I must feel fortunate for that.  But when it comes to trying to launch a new product, you need capital!  The kids are getting under my skin – they fight from the moment they wake up to the minute they are finally sent to bed at night.  The weather does not want to cooperate, being trapped under cold front after cold front that causes my symptoms to flare.  I just can’t seem to get a break.

What is a girl to do?  Well, here are some of the thing that have worked in the past.

Yoga – focusing on breathing, relaxation, stretching the body has helped me relieve stress in the past.

Abstract Art – no plan, just sit down with a white sheet of paper and go from there.  Whether it is a splash of color, a small dot or more – one you start just go with it….

Gardening – the solitude can help alleviate stress when it is caused by others.  Focus on nature and the beauty God has created, realizing that you are his beautiful creation as well.

Prayer/Bible Study/Meditation – when we can’t seem to help ourselves we need someone to lean on to help us find our way back to level ground.  Quite connection with God’s word can help you find your center once again and put your trust in God to take care of all your needs.

Do you have any other ways you manage your stress?  Please feel free to share with the rest of us!  Now I am off to take some of my own advice and try to destress!

~Nikki

  
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