Watercolor leaves // taking the time for creativity

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Today my to-do list says I don’t have any extra time to make art. Or blog, for that matter. But the artist in me tells me sometimes you have to put to-do lists aside in order to create when inspiration strikes. I’m trying to do that more often. I get caught up in my daily must do’s, and then wish I somehow had the time to explore art and grow in my artistic talents. There will never be enough time in the day to do it all. It must be intentional. So, there are dirty dishes in the sink from breakfast. The floor needs to be swept. There are tasks that are calling my name from every corner. I could work all day long, every day and fill all my hours up with tasks that need to be accomplished.

But today, just for a little while, I’m choosing to set it all aside and focus on nurturing my creative side. I think this is important too. Perhaps just as important as all the chores. Somehow it’s hard to see it that way. But I believe the creative gift has been placed inside of us for a reason. And we shouldn’t bury it under a mound of tasks and responsibilities. I don’t believe in shirking responsibilities and ignoring the jobs we have to do. But the gifts inside need to come out. They are there to bring joy to ourselves and others, and to bring glory to the One who placed them there to begin with.

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I had to leave fairly early this morning for something I had to do with my husband. And on the drive home I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the fall foliage. It’s my favorite! Everything is so beautiful right now. Especially in the early morning mist over the landscape when the sun is just beginning to gather strength. I thought how fun it would be to capture a bit of the beauty I saw with some watercolors. And so, when I arrived home, I set out to gather a few different leaves from around our yard. I picked several in different colors, shapes and sizes. I’ll save the rest and maybe work on a collection of these little art pieces. Perfect for displaying around my house for a touch of fall decor.

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The leaves are fun to paint because you can really go to town with all kinds of layers of colors, adding more here and there until you are satisfied. I made the veins by using a brush loaded with just plain water to take out some of the color.

I want to do more now!

 

Gossamer Blue November Sneak Peeks + some links

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I’m a little late getting around to posting my Gossamer Blue November sneak peeks, since these kits will go on sale on november 1st. But anyway, here they are. I enjoyed the kits so much! I made 6 cards and still had ideas for more. I love the addition of purple this time. Purple used to be one of my least favorite colors, but it’s growing on me. especially plum, which is great for fall.

My desk is a mess. It needs to be cleaned, but I’m right in the middle of a whole bunch of projects right now. I’m painting a desk for my son, painting a desk for me, painting my kitchen chairs, trying to finish up some fall housecleaning (windows and screens, etc).  I have so many things on my list to complete for Gossamer Blue, and yet I can hardly wait until my December memories kit comes. Seems like everywhere I turn there are things needing my attention, and my husband’s getting annoyed at his lack of ironed clothes. Again. These times I get to sit and play with paper and embellishments are a wonderful reprieve from the demands of my everyday schedule. I get to sneak away for a while and get creative in my own little quiet and colorful world.

Today I took some photos of my brand new, incredibly adorable, baby niece. I will share a few photos once I get the time to edit them.

Some things I’ve been loving lately:

A recipe for cookie butter? Oh my! You shouldn’t have. For real. These would make some really fun gifts, I think.

The most perfect card. I adore Aga’s work!

This recipe made me drool. The berries. The bread. The cheese. I don’t know what it tastes like, but the photos sure make me want to give it a try. The mark of a fantastic food photographer.

A really great Christmas craft to try.

My hair has been long for a while. Contemplating getting it chopped off. Maybe something shorter, like this cut?

 

 

Workspace Wednesday

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I love how Marcy Penner shares a little glimpse into her workspace each week. I thought it would be fun to give it a try.

What’s in my workspace right now? The November kits from Gossamer Blue. Here’s a sneak of some of the goodness found in the Bits & Pieces add-on, which usually happens to be my favorite add-on each month. I haven’t had much time to play yet. But hopefully in the next day or two I will have some projects completed so I can begin sharing.

The November kits are amazing, just saying. The mix of product is awesome. Some of the latest and greatest stuff out there. Trendy, inspiring, beautiful, and just plain fun! I don’t think you’ll want to miss out. You can see more photos of what’s to come by checking out the November Lookbook, if you haven’t already. You can also check out the shop. All the November add-ons can be seen there.

 

A whole lot of awesome!

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I was browsing the aisles of TJ Maxx earlier this week and came across this really cute black and white striped notebook. I love journals and notebooks and have a lot of them lying around pretty much all of the time. I love to use them to write stuff in when inspiration strikes, tucked away in my purse for the times I’m out and about and see something I want to remember, or on my desk for jotting down blog ideas and notes for future projects. I’m a  list maker to the core, and you know what they say. List makers gonna list!

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I wanted to showcase a lot of that beautiful black and white, because I’m a sucker for black and white, Especially stripes. I gravitate towards them like a bug to light. So when I saw this notebook it was instant love. I decided I really needed wanted a new notebook to write down blog topic ideas, my blog schedule, and future projects. I plan to keep in on my desk by my computer and not storing on a shelf, so adding lots of embellishments to the front wasn’t going to be an issue.

I pulled out some of my pieces from the October Gossamer Blue kits and just had fun with it.

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You may not recognize those letter stickers, but I assure you, they are the same ones that came with the main kit. I just decided to give them a makeover. That’s the cool thing about letter stickers. You can usually change them up if the color isn’t working for you. These stickers were originally a golden orange color, but I used my Sharpie paint pens to change them to black and white. Simple and effective.

I also used my silhouette Cameo to cut out one of the October exclusive cut files to add to my notebook. But I changed that up a little bit as well. The cut out says love these awesome photos, but I cut off these and photos and was left with this cut out you see in the yellow.

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I have lots of little pieces left yet from these kits. There is so much packed into them. this was a great way to get to use some of them. I added a wood veneer tag, rub-ons, flair, a floral die cut, some stamping, some enamel stars, and then some twine and mist droplets.

I’m excited about how this turned out and I can’t wait to put it by my computer and begin filling it up with fun blog ideas and inspiration.

Do you love notebooks too? I’d love to hear how you use yours the most.

Gossamer Blue inspiration blog hop

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Hello everyone! I’m so glad you’re here, because today is a fun day! The girls on the Gossamer Blue design teams are coming together to bring you a blog hop featuring the October kits.

All of us on the design team share our projects at the beginning of the month, which is great for building excitement for receiving your own kit. But, now that you have your kit in your hands, we thought it would be great to give you another dose of inspiration to help you keep on getting the most out of those kits, all the way up until the day the new ones go live. Isn’t that great? I’m so excited to see what all the girls have been working on. I know it’s going to be amazing. And the reason I know that is because my design team sisters are so amazingly talented that they blow me away over and over again!

If you’re following the blog hop order, you most likely came here from Beshka’s blog. Isn’t she awesome? I just love her work, and her blog!

So, I created a little  card to share with you today. But, I also created another project using the October kits that I thought I’d save and share with you tomorrow. So I hope you come on back to see.

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The patterned papers and the little stars are from the main kit and the stamp is from the Bits & Pieces add-on.  The sequins are some from my stash that I’ve had for almost forever.

To make that colorful sentiment, I first stamped the sentiment with orange distress ink and then sprayed it with water to get the color to run. Then I stamped it a second time, using red distress ink and sprayed it with just a little bit more water. Then, I stamped it a third time, again using the red ink. I really wanted something colorful and vibrant, something happy, to go along with the colorful paper.

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I love that sunburst patterned paper. It’s so fun and cheerful looking. I think both the main kit and the Bits & Pieces add-on that I used here are sold out.  Most of the kits are sold out for the month, but the following add-ons and extras are still available:

Exclusive paper kit. Contains the patterned papers designed exclusively for Gossamer Blue.

Extra card stock

Main Kit paper only add-on. An extra sheet of all the papers that come in the main kit, including the one I used on my card.

Add-on kit paper only. A sheet of all the papers in the main add-on.

Extra acrylic from the Life Pages kit. Cute!

Extra wood veneer from the main kit. Also cute!

There’s not a whole lot left. That’s because Lori is just so good at creating these beautifulkits and they usually go quickly. So if you see something you like, you might want to grab it before it’s gone.

I absolutely love working with the Gossamer Blue kits. I was a subscriber to another kit club for quite a while, until I joined the Gossamer Blue team and always enjoyed it a lot. I love the variety of products I get to work with each month. I love that I receive a package at my doorstep each month. It’s like having 12 birthdays a year! I also love that I don’t have to spend time searching online for items I’d like to purchase. There is just so much product out there that it can be overwhelming. I love it that someone has taken the time to pull a bunch of goodies together. Very rarely have I received something I really didn’t like in all the years I’ve been a part of a kit club. My kit pieces still remain some of my very favorites. I also love that Lori is not only so great at picking out some of the latest and greatest and most beautiful pieces, but she has extremely talented designers working with her to create amazing exclusives for the Gossamer Blue kits each and every month. It’s an all around win, in my opinion, and if you’ve never tried out a kit club, I highly recommend it!

So now, on to the rest of the team. From here you can head on over to the ever so fabulous Cindy Liebel. I know she will have something wonderful to share today. And, if you lose your way along the hop, no worries. I have the entire list of participants below, or you can simply head on over to the Gossamer Blue blog and start there.

Thanks so much for stopping in today and sharing part of your day with me. Feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love hearing from you!

Blog hop order:

Gossamer Blue blog

Annabelle O’Malley

Beshka Kueser

Brenda Weaver <- You are here!

Cindy Liebel

Danielle Flanders

Diane Payne

Emily Spahn

Erin Taylor

Eunyoung Lee

Evgenia Petzer

Heather Leopard

Jill Cornell

Jill Keller

Joy Taylor

Katie Ehmann

Keisha Campbell

Laura Crosby

Maria Lacuesta

Melanie Blckburn

Michelle Wooderson

Rebecca Luminarias

Sabrina Alery

Tara Anderson

Vanessa Perry

Yana Smakula

 

 

On My Desk- C&N happy memories now in progress

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The On My Desk collection from Gossamer Blue has been begging me to make a layout with it. I really wanted to use some of the bright pinks and girly designs that come with this collection, so I set out to find a photo I could use.

I found this Instagram photo I took just a few weeks ago of Chloe and a friend of hers on a mother/daughter beach excursion. We had stopped at Sweet Frog for lunch.  I probably normally wouldn’t do Sweet Frog for lunch, knowing how many candies and sweets my daughter enjoys piling on top of her yogurt. Not exactly a healthy lunch option. Especially knowing from experience how much harder it is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet while on vacation. But being on vacation calls for a little loosening of the rules, right? A little Sweet Frog for lunch is probably OK just this once. It made a great memory and I was happy to catch this shot of my daughter and her little friend enjoying their sweet treat. They are so cute!

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I purchased the flower cut file from Kim Stewart a little while ago and was waiting for a chance to use it. These cut files are just so gorgeous! I adhered them loosely so they would lift off the page in some spots, creating some dimension.

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I pulled a little of this and that together to make the “happy memories now in progress” subtitle. All of these pieces are found in the On my Desk collection. There are puffy stickers, die cuts, wood veneer pieces, etc. The gold letter stickers are left over from the September Gossamer Blue kits.

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I backed parts of the cut out designs with some of the pretty papers in the collection. I seriously love each and every piece of patterned paper in the On My Desk collection. There are so many fun girly designs, like the gems, flowers and hearts. But there are plenty of neutral and masculine designs as well. Like the blue polka dots, the stars, and more. I feel like it’s a very well rounded collection with something for everyone.

If you’d like to see more of this collection, check it out here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Drop me a line and let me know what you think of this collection, any questions you have, or just say hello. I love hearing from my readers!