Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Challenge Blog!

Why hello there crafty people's. I sure hope your weekend is going well. I have some BIG news to share about a new blog in blogland. It's called Mix It Up Challenge. This is a technique based challenge blog that will make you want to try new things. Cool right? Yeppers. I happen to be on the Design Team (yippee!) and just wanted to share the news.
The challenges start in May but we are doing a "Just For Fun" challenge for April.  You can design anything your heart wants. Mix It Up and try something new if you feel up for it. Anything Goes with this Just For Fun challenge. And you can also become a follower. You could even possibly win a prize! Awesome sauce! 

Click HERE for the link to the challenge.


Happy Crafting and Carpe Diem! Hugz. ~Niki


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simple Little Card

Well simple is a relative term when it comes to me and cards but that is okay. Last night a friend came over and we ended up in my art room with me showing her how to use different products. I asked her if she wanted to make a quick card and this is the result. She kept her card and I didn't get to take pictures but we used the same techniques.

Using watercolor paper, I showed her how to stamp with Versamark and heat emboss an image (I think that was her favorite part) and then we used LSG magical to add some color. Her color choices were purples, pink, and blue. We spritzed our paper with water first then added some of the Magicals powder. We created drips and I showed her how to smoosh her paper onto the craft mat to get all of the excess powder that  accidentally flew off the brush. Haha! 
I then made us both a shabby twine bow and showed her how to spray white flowers to create any color she wanted. We also added some glitter to her flower cluster. 
The chit chat sticker I used was edged with ink and the flower cluster was glued with a glue gun. The edges were distressed on the base of the card and the panel. I used the word delightful because this was a fun experience and also because this card is going to be mailed to my dear Grandma whom is a delight to me. The card was finished with some white splatter paint. :) 

I would like to share this card with these wonderful challenges:


 I used green on the background and the flowers



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Broken Art

Well I have been back in my art room for the first times since December. I lost my mojo, it plum left me for a few months. I didn't even really want to look at anything art related. Rock bottom is what it was like, but just for art and not anything else. I am not sure why this happened or if it will again, but I have an inkling about what started it. So now I am trying new things and even took an online course from Andy Skinner (more to come on that). We shall see what happens. The design I am sharing today has been remade about 8-9 times. This piece has been on multiple journey's, color schemes, details added and taken away. Only today was I able to see a clear picture of what it wanted to be. Thank goodness! Lol. I give you
  Broken Art


The frame was found at a thrift store and I saw so much potential.

 FIRST IDEA: The initial project was going to be a Valentine's Day gift. Ever see those frames on Pinterest that say "Spooning Since ..."? Well that idea didn't pan out because my metal stamping stamps wouldn't stamp into the spoons. 

2ND IDEA: lots of chippies and a frame to hang jewelry. The metal mesh that is inside the frame wouldn't hold anything and actually broke rather easy. No pics. 

3RD IDEA: soft pastel colors to create a Prima inspired design. That was nixed almost immediately when I went to gather supplies. I have no pastels. Lol!

4-7TH IDEA-didn't work

8TH IDEA: altered rusty paintbrush. Hmmmm, that is feelin about right! Here is how it went down. 
I am not sure exactly what I did because everything you see in the picture above was used. The frame got some paint and stamps were added with Versamark. Then I used about 3-4 embossing powders. The metal corner pieces are from Emerald Creek and heat embossed with Charred Gold.

Stamps, stencils, metal tidbits, paints, sprays, micas, texture paste, crackle paste, embossing powders, and on and on. I did add some white paint around the edge of the paintbrush to define the edges because it was getting lost in the pictures. What a journey! 
The end result was so very different than what I had started with. I am okay with that. Add in the flinging of the splattered paints and drips and drops, it was fun, and fun is what I was after. That was the journey that I wanted to take. 
Thanks for stopping by and Carpe Diem! Enjoy the journey. We all have Broken Art somewhere just waiting for that light bulb to go off in our brain. Hugz! ~Niki

I want to send this piece on more journey's so I took it to a few different places to get my photos. I will be sharing it with these challenges: 




I came "aboard" by reaching my own destination for learning to "art" again and have fun doing it after a dry spell.

I believe I used 4 stamps, maybe 5 and that is just on the frame alone. Not counting the stamps hidden under the paint on the altered paintbrush.

I was inspired by the dark background with the highlights of the purples, blues and teals. I used a CE leafy vine frame chippie as the focal point of the altered paintbrush.   

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saying I love you with wood

Hello and welcome to my little blog. Hopefully you all have had a wonderful holiday with Valentine's Day. I decided to make my DH a wooden sign. The numbers on the sign are very special to us and one of a kind.
I started with some leftover pine boards and stained it with MinWax. I let that dry overnight and then printed out my latitude and longitude. These coordinates are the location of where Kyle and I first met. Awwww! I printed just the outline of the numbers to save on ink.

The next step was to "weather" my boards. I applied some watered down DecoArt chalky paint. After that was dry, I dry brushed some of the same chalky paint over the boards. Viola! The easiest way to make new boards look older and weathered. TIP-You might also want to take some random objects (metal works best) and beat the boards. This technique makes some interesting intentions for your stain to seep into. I've used a tire iron, chains, an axe, hammer and such on past projects. It's awesome and fun. 
The time consuming part came when I outlined all of the numbers and letters to show the coordinates. Yes, some people use transfer paper, others remember to flip their image before they print it and trace that outline but I plum forgot and had to transfer paper. So, I taped my "template" to the board and used a pen to trace the letters. Using a bit of force while tracing I was able to get the font onto my board and then use a pencil to make it even more apparent. 
Once my outline was done I used DecoArt titanium white and painted the letters and numbers. 
After everything was dry, I used a hand sander and lightly sanded parts of the boards to create even more of a weathered look. Below is a closer look after the sanding. 
All done and ready to hang up. I nailed some shims to the back of the boards and some hooks. This was a gift for my husband for Valentines Day and I just got it hung today. Whew! Here is a look at it on our wall.
Please don't mind my wall color. Our living room has not been painted yet and this brown was there when we moved in. I am so very tired of living in brown houses. Haha! But that is another post for another day.

Hugz and Carpe Diem! Thank you for stopping by! 
~Niki

I would like to share this design with these challenges: 




Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mini Top Hat for CHA

So excited to finally being able to share this top hat I designed for Kim of Emerald Creek Dares. She has a new stamp designer, Gail, of Crystal Media Arts, and asked if I would like to have a go at these new stamps. The stamps are burlesque themed and so perfect for a mini top hat! I couldn't refuse and was so thrilled to get started.
I started the usual way and used craft foam and my template to cut out each piece. This hat is made from scratch. It doesn't matter what color your craft foam is because everything gets a coat (or two or three) of paint.
Good scissors and contact glue are so important! You just can't make this hat without contact glue. Here is a shot of the gluing process. 

I left the top of the hat off because I wanted to stamp one of the Crystal Cookie stamps on it and heat emboss the image using the new Epaulette Blue powder from Emerald Creek. The base of the hat is painted with metallic blue paint. The stamp is called Boots Before Corset

Once the hat was completely glued together I went to town on decorating it to achieve the burlesque theme. Black lace with some bling went around the top and the bottom. Black feathers and a black rose, with a mini metal rose in the middle are a must! I applied black alcohol ink to the little boot and added those near the black rose 'cause these boots are made for walkin, and that's just what I'll do!

I used a metal frame that I heat embossed with another new Emerald Creek EP, Metabaloid Blue. I then stamped the Playful and Full of Life lady onto some tissue paper and then glued the tissue paper onto some tinfoil. 
I then cut the foil to fit inside the frame and hot glue it to the front of the hat. 

Some more feathers were added and I wanted a surprise pop of color so I added bright purple feathers as well. I found these purple feathers on a rather cheap mask and since it was falling apart at the store they sold it to me for a dollar! Score!


Then I got out some clear vellum and stamped the words "Boots Before Corset" using Versamark and heat embossed it with the Metabaloid Blue powder as well. 

Every girls needs a sassy hat and this one sure turned out sassy. Haha. Huge thank you to Kim for the opportunity and also to Gail for creating these wonderful stamps! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share this hat with these wonderful challenges:


I used the feathers and the overall blue hues and the sentiment inspired me as well.

I used Boots Before Corset. These words are special to me because this was my first design made for CHA and without this stamp, it wouldn't have been possible. 




Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Birthday Card (cards scare me)

Well it is always a challenge for me to design a card, I am not sure why but it's true. I wanted to make a beautiful card for a dear lady that is an amazing person. She is known for her unique style and wonderful details so I knew I had to pull out everything I had to get this design. I know she'll love it even if it is kinda sloppy because she is just a good person like that. Hehe!

I don't like to measure so I just eyeballed everything and used three layers of heavy white cardstockto make my card. 
The bottom layered is sprayed with Lindys Stamp Gang sprays. The edges were distressed and then it was glued to the card base. The second layer is made using ColourArte and Primary Elements powders. The top layer with the die cut out is crackle paste then LSG sprays, then watered down turquoise DecoArt paint and finally some DecoArt titanium white antiquing paint. 
All the layers were popped up on foam dots for dimension. The real magic started with chipboard feathers that were painted white. The flowers are goodies I won from Creative Artiste and the bows were made with strings from my stash. The blue ribbon and white pearl things are from my stash as well. The white branch looking things are the MS branch punch. Everything was given a flick and spritz of white paint and a flick of white alcohol ink. The little horseshoe is from a friend Sara of Saras Closet. 


Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share this card with these challenges: 


I was inspired by the blues and the feathers 

I chose to use winter colors

Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret Santa and a Card!

Why helllloooooo lovelies! Can you believe it is December already!?! I sure can't. I am so very thankful that everything is looking up and my family is doing well. We had a scare with my beloved FIL but he is improving every day. Thank goodness! And I am also thankful for such an amazing team at Anything But Cute. Every lovely lady on our team is talented, sweet, supportive, plus we all communicate terrifically. This year we decided to do Secret Santa gifts and my chosen one is Autumn! She is a kind and caring lady, not to mention a totally stellar artist so I had to pull out the big guns for this card! Cards scare the daylights out of me and I always have such a hard time with the design. This little card took me 3.5 weeks! Yikes and haha all at the same time right? Here is my gift to the fantabulous and wonderful Autumn!
I started with brown card stock and cut the TH paper to size. No measurements because I eyeball everything. Then I used my sanding block and sanded the TH paper to help showcase the holiday words. The edges were distressed. 
Next came the Santa picture (a lovely gift from Bubbles, aka Pamellia, last Christmas). I had a play on words since we are doing a secret Santa and thought this pic was perfect for the theme. Not to mention so very festive and perfect for the Holiday!
 I heat embossed the ornate frame with about 4 different embossing powders and then glued the Santa picture to the frame. I also wrote on the back of the frame the year, and date so Autumn remembers where it came from. :)
The front was made to look like glass by using a thick layer of Glossy Accents. Yes, there are air bubbles but that's okay by me. A plaid bow, some jingle bells and Santa is good to go. 

I then heat embossed a chippie word and added some more goodies and a snowflake charm to the front of the car. I think I mostly used hot glue and glossy accents for adhering everything. And of course the "snow" is a circle stencil with some glittery embossing powder sprinkled over it and the snow on the edges of the card is made using the DecoArt snow writer. 

Now for a secret: I just had to add a special touch and make Autumn a keepsake she could put on her Christmas tree so I added Velcro to the back of the ornate frame Santa so it can be taken off of the card. It's an ornament in disguise! Happy Secret Santa Autumn!

And that's all for this cards folks! But, wait there is more! Here is a sneaky peaky of the gift I received from the gloriously sweet and talented Branka of Vintage Handmade. You just have to go visit her blog to find out the amazing details of this rustic and gorgeous design! I absolutely love it!

It looks even more fantabulous in real life and the textures and crackle are spectacular! Thank you very much B and Merry Christmas! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share my Santa card with these challenges:





I'm totally celebrating Christmas and the giving season! 

I made a dangle ornament and used a metal snowflake charm like the one in the picture. 







Saturday, November 5, 2016

Rustic Glam

Why Hello here and welcome to my blog. Today starts a new challenge at Anything But Cute where I am hosting this month, and we have a fun theme but more about that in a minute. I have been re-re doing my master bedroom and have finally reached a color scheme and theme I am thrilled with. DIY planking with gray walls and lots of other DIY's. That is what gave me the idea for the theme this month. Here is my design:

I call it Rustic Glam! Think of Southern charm meeting some Bling Bling. We want you to create a mixed media design featuring rustic elements such as whitewashed wood, chicken wire, burlap, soft subtle tones and neutrals. Don't forget to add the GLAM part with some sparkle and BLING!

I started with the paper mache deer head and painted it white but then I cut it off of the shield it was on. I had a totally different plan at the beginning that involved a burlap canvas and the shield but that quickly changed. 
Once the head was cut off, the antlers were painted metallic silver and I added some art stones to the part of the antlers that touched the skull and painted those silver (had to add some realistic touches here and there). The antlers were then painted with mod podge and dipped into a package of faux snow. Viola! Glamorous antlers! 
Then I went out to my garage and cut a piece of pine board to lay inside the opening of the back of the canvas. Power tools are so fun and using left over boards is a great way to save money!
I stained the wood with MinWax Classic Gray and when it was almost dry I added some Semi Gloss white ceiling paint to parts and also some blue acrylic paint. I then waited for those to dry and hand sanded it to create the cracks and peeled paint look.
The next step was to add the paper frame around the canvas opening. I cut the paper to fit and mitered the corners to create a frame. Then I added some modeling paste with a flourish stencil around the frame. 
Now it's starting to look like something I would hang on my wall! My husband had asked me to make something for our room so this is it! I applied some crackle glaze and I then painted a wash of white, blue and grey over the stenciled frame and glued down the ornate white frame in the middle.
Now I added the pine board to the middle of the canvas and glued the frame to the board. The white mesh inside the ornate frame is from my wonderful friend Sara of Sara's Closet. The deer head was glued to the board and helps to hold the mesh down. The final touch was to add the bling at the bottom.
Here is a close up of the details on the antlers. The faux snow worked perfectly for what I had in mind. And the bling on the forehead adds such a wonderful glam vibe to this design. 
Tres chic? Maybe! I seem to be embracing my more feminine side lately. I can't wait to see what you create! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki
On a side note: This is what my DIY rustic glam wall is looking like so far. I used cedar planks and hand painted/distressed each one to look different but uniform. I absolutely adore this wall!
In the picture above-the green frogger tape is where the studs are in my wall so I know where to shoot my finishing nails. The baseboard molding is designed by me and also almost done. In the picture below more of the wall is done (I added my own version of crown molding) and now all I need to do is caulk the baseboards, add a chandelier, and some DIY remote controlled lanterns that will hang on each side of the bed. And yes, the night stand and the lamp are going bye-bye! Awesome sauce and I can't wait for it to be complete!

I would love to share my Rustic Glam design with these challenges:

I used a canvas and also this white mesh in the middle of the ornate frame behind the head.




My little deer represents a fairy tale come true.