Monday, December 2, 2013

Paint, Gelli-Arts and Prima

I recently had a chance to play with a Gelli-Arts Plate and some fun Prima products. Did I say how much fun I had? I even got my boys interested for a few minutes! haha. I really LOVED how you could create unique, colorful creations in just a few minutes.

When I am trying a new technique I love to try it on a tag. It's a smaller surface and, if I hate it, I haven't wasted very much paper. Plus it has TWO I get another chance to make it work.

Don't forget to check out the awesome give-away Prima/Gelli-Arts has put together! You can enter right here until Dec 5th!

Thanksgiving Place Cards

Gelli sharontags
I love any reason that pushes me to be more thankful! As I was working on this project I thought of who & what I am most thankful for this holiday. And, right now, that is my sweet family. After recently having surgery I had to rely on all of them so much for my most basic needs. Each child (and their sweetheart) had a special way of touching my heart through their acts of selfless love and unique talents. So, I decided to make personalized place cards that they could keep long after the holiday. On the back of each I hope to add a personal note of gratitude from my "very full" momma's heart.
I loved using the Gelli-Arts plate to create my unqiue background. This was my first time and I had so much fun just playing with paint and stencils. I chose two paint colors. (I also used another white paint (Glamour Dust by DecoArt) that has a shimmer finish that sparkles ever so slightly.)
1. I applied the burnt orange paint to the plate first.
2. I set the large Donna Downey stencil on top of the paint (press down firmly) and applied white paint over that.
3. Next I removed the stencil (it will remove some of the paint) and set a tag on the fun design. Rub over it with your hand and remove! Depending on how much surface is painted you can get multiple tags from each step!
4. Take another tag and run over the design again for the ghost print.
5. I added a bit more orange paint on top of the doily stencil, spread it out, removed the stencil, and did another set of tags that coordinate with the first two, but are unique.
Will's place card uses my first print. It is a bit bolder and has more paint on it than the ghost print, but they are both gorgeous to me! I love how unique each print is-just like my children and their sweeties. To decorate I pulled out some of my favorite Prima embellies! The wood frame is rubbed with gold PanPastel for shimmer. Then I quickly added ribbon, flowers, leaves, and alphabet letters. (If your children have longer names just use a smaller alphabet.)
Breanna's (Boo) place card base uses the ghost print. See how it has a softer appearance?
Prima Products:
922344 Donna Downey 12x12 Stencil
960551 Finnabair 6x6 Stencil
558406 Kennedy Vintage Flowers
547424 Precious Metals Gold Leaves
950880 Divine Wood Frame
569792 White Alphabets
564193 Burlap Trim
Other: Gelli-Arts 8x10 plate, DecoArt Glamour Dust Ice Crystal paint, Americana Burnt Orange and Snow Titanium White paint, Rich Gold PanPastel, green ribbon

Monday, October 28, 2013

Treat Poppers!

 Treat Poppers

Sharon poppers

Your kids will be excited to find these treat poppers (crackers), filled with yummy candy. Not only is this project super easy to make, but it also recycles household tubes you would otherwise toss in the trash.
Sharon poppers2ed

1. I covered an empty toilet paper roll in kraft wrapping paper (or you can use a paper towel tube cut down to size.) 

2. Leave both ends of the kraft paper long and fringe with a scissors. 

3. Tie twine around each end.

4. Wrap Glitz patterned paper around each tube as desired. I used a fancy-edged scissors for extra pizazz!

5. Add stickers or circle punched papers for a label.

6. Customize with a Prima Press stamp and black gems for a super simple, yet extra sweet, treat!"
Sharon popper3ed
On this popper I used Glitz's roller stamp to add a design along both sides of the popper. Just mark the empty roll edges on the kraft paper, stamp your design, THEN glue the kraft paper to the empty roll. How fun is that?

Sharon poppers1ed
Or go all out with flowers, leaves, and crystal swirls for an extra special popper! YOU, and your kids,  will LOVE these economical treat holders.

Prima Products:
550349 Prima Press
544645 Black Say It In Crystals Swirl
565268 Flowers
571900 Florella Leaves
551438, 551414 Say It In Crystals-Singles

Glitz Design Products:
AW1202 Glitz Raven Collection Title & Accents
PP1561 Glitz Raven Collection -6"  Paper Pack
AW1288 Glitz Raven Collection -Alphabets 
RD1035 Giant Roller Doodle-Triangles
Other: kraft wrapping paper, black ink, paper tubes, pinking shears, circle punches, twine, candy

Friday, October 25, 2013

Altering Chalkboard Flowers & Leaves

A few weeks ago I did a LWP show with the new Optimist papers, along with gorgeous chalkboard paper flowers and leaves.

I promised to get the techniques up on my blog. Well, I DID take all the photos...then time sneaked away on me.

So, hanging my head, here I am with the tips and techniques!

Note: When I try something for the first time I always play on the BACK side of the flower or leaf first. 

This shot shows how to use Prima's white chalk edger and cling stamps to create a COOL chalky effect. You can also use the Prima Press for a personalized stamp. Just press the chalk edger on to the stamp. You will get a nice chalky look with fabulous contrast.

This shot shows how different pens and pencils work on the flowers and leaves. The Project Life white pen is amazing! (I got it in an HSN PL kit.) And Faber Castell has pretty cool pencils, metallic pens, and PITT brush pens. The samples are set next to the actual pens/pencils used on them! I think my faves are the FC metallic pens and the BH white pen.

 This last photo shows art mediums paired with Prima stencils for some fun, dimensional effects. Light Molding Paste, Glass Bead Gel, and Viva Inka Gold Metallic Rub all offer innovative techniques which work beautifully on the leaves/flowers. Aren't those fun?

So there you go! I hope these samples trigger a bit of inspiration for you!  Seriously...just dig out your art mediums and start playing. You are going to LOVE it!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Is It Too Early For Christmas?

I sure hope not because that's what I have for you today! Creating Keepsakes was so sweet to ask me to play with trim and make a layout for their November/December issue way back in April.

I had so much creating this layout! The technique focus is on the tape (which I altered.) Prima's Cotton Tape, Ranger's Perfect Pearl Mist, a Prima Press Stamp, and a stencil were the perfect mix to customize it. 

All of the layered papers are Project life cards and paper fun and so easy to do!


You can see this project, plus so MANY others, in the November/December issue which is available right NOW!!!!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Prima + Pink Paislee FUN!

It is always a blast to join two manufacturer's products together and just PLAY!

Today I have a sweet, innocent layout up on the Prima blog of my two granddaughters. I LOVED Pink Paislee's Color Wash line and Heidi's Color Shine sprays. They mixed beautifully with Prima products. (And how did Pink Paislee know I needed a pastel line like this?)

These polaroid frames were some of my FAVES! I just printed out 3x3 inch photos and added those amazing frames right on top! Easy-peasey and I LOVE how they look together on a page. And Prima's wood icons? Some of my favorites. I love them natural...but I think they are even better colored with some Color Shine happiness!

Prima also has two amazing give-aways on their blog and one on their Facebook page, so HOP on over to those and throw in your hat. You will LOVE the mix of products!

Did I mention the beautiful projects by PP team right here? I was just blown away. They are GORGEOUS! And inspiring! Now I cannot wait to sit down and scrap some more photos of my sweet granddaughters this week-end!

#primapinkpaislee #watercolorfun

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Creating Keepsakes, Mixed Media, and a Blog Hop!

Creating Keepsakes' special issues are simply amazing! Not only is each one packed FULL of projects, but there are close-up shots, step-by-steps, and tutorials for the harder techniques. I LOVE getting an issue, grabbing a coffee, and snuggling up in a comfy chair to pore over the whole issue.

That is exactly what I did when this gorgeous issue showed up at my house:

I was really honored to be in this issue. I got to play with some of my FAVORITE products and came up with a really cool technique. Here is a sneak peek (it is a double page layout so you really need to buy the issue  (here) to see the whole thing on page 114 in the Collage Whimsy chapter! PLUS there are so many fabulous projects through-out the issue!)

 I cannot even begin to give justice to the creativity within the pages of this special issue. If you have ever thought of doing mixed media, or are pretty accomplished at it, the delightful projects inside will inspire all of you to pull out your art mediums and try new things!

One of my favorite artists in this issue is Kim Watson. Her fun, graphic style always holds a little surprise technique or element. I love looking at her projects and taking a little piece of inspiration way with me!

Here is the master list of designers playing along and their blog links. So be sure and check out today's featured blogs...and come back tomorrow for even more!

Creating Keepsakes Mixed Media Scrapbooking
Official Blog Hop Roster

Wednesday September 25th, 2013
Liz Hicks
Noel Culbertson
Ronda Palazzari
Angela Magnuson
Marion Smith
Sharon Laakkonen -ME!!!
Terri Anderson
Candy Rosenberg

Thursday September 26th, 2013
Liz Hicks
 Courtney Walsh
Stacy Cohen
Kim Watson
Agnieszka Bellaidea 

A special thank you to Creating Keepsakes for inviting me to play along with all of the fabulous designers. They will be continuing to publish special issues. YAY! And a sweet thank you to Liz who came up with the blog hop idea and organized all of it! xoxo

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's STAMPtember!

I am EXCITED to be a part of the STAMPtember® celebrations with Simon Says Stamp! I was so humbled when they asked me to be a part of their month-long celebration. If you are not the best stamper than my projects will give you hope! Haha! They are perfect for beginners and show how to incorporate a bit of stamping on every project you make!

Here is a peek at my project created just for STAMPtember with a grey & peach color palette.
To see the whole tag (using some of my fave Prima stamps, papers, and flowers-available at SSS), plus a BONUS tag,  please click right here.

Simon Says Stamp was founded in 2002 with an interest in exclusively selling rubber stamps. It didn’t take long until we realized we couldn’t stop there. During the past 11 years we celebrate rubber stamping in its full glory by giving access to people around the world to a one stop shop. Rubber stamps still remain the heart of our business and we are celebrating by hosting a STAMPtember® event intended to inspire, educate, and celebrate the greatness of rubber stamping. Part of the enticement of rubber stamping is that stamps can be used in creating or complementing ANYTHING! From stamping dates on bank documents and postage parcels in the early 18th century, rubber stamping has dramatically expanded to include card making, scrapbooking, mixed media, life documenting, art journaling, and many forms of altering and expressing art.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's Keeping Me Busy!

Life is crazy with seven kids, but then they grow up and it gets even BUSIER! So here is what has been keeping me a BIT busy the last few months.

Bethany and Jon had another baby girl! 

It was one of the most beautiful things to experience. (I know I have been on the OTHER side a few times, but really seeing the miracle of birth opened my eyes to how absolutely precious and miraculous it really is. I still get teary-eyed thinking about it. Sniff.)

Isn't she SWEET? Beth and Jon named her Madelyn Elise. She has big blue eyes and is so squeezably adorable!

Amariah was a bit apprehensive to meet her little sister at first.

But she warmed up to her in no time at all!

(Okay-it really took till the next day until she would hold her, but Amariah is 3. She just needed to sleep on it a bit.)

Then she thought the new baby was really something FUN!

The sisters a week later!

This is Madelyn and her mommy at 1 month! I think Bethany looks fabulous! And Madelyn's eyes are stunning.


My daughter, Brittany, got married! Yeah-we love to pack a whole lot of activity in as a family!

I couldn't have picked a better guy for her. Josiah (we call him Jobes so we don't confuse him with our 9 year old-hehe) is perfect for Britt. They've gone out for over 3 years now. I love how patient and mature they have been through it all!

 Britt and Jobes planned so many details themselves. (Britt just HAD to be super-crafty-bride, huh?) The weeks before the wedding I had STUFF all over my house...paint and flowers and tablecloths, vases and dried flowers and a cotton candy stand (for real), cake plates and Jones soda bottles and cornhole games...literally anything & everything you could think of! They seriously customized this wedding like none I have ever seen.

From the flowers girls' ensembles....

to her bridal gown...Britt and her sweetie (& family and friends) literally poured hundreds of hours into their special day! (We are hoping to do a little DIY feature about the wedding on the Prima blog so keep an eye out for it!)

Jobes swept her off her feet and we were all there to watch the fairytale romance and wedding!

Presenting Mr & Mrs Josiah Durham!

Their playful grand entrance at the reception!

Here's Bill & I, our seven children, their significant others, and our two grandbabies! WHEW! We keep GROWING and we LOVE it!

PS: Next event? Another wedding...coming up in December. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Prima & Echo Park Hop!

Echo Park and Prima decided to pair up and do a little blog hop together! Our products work so well together! You can see Prima's give-aways here and Echo Park here!

(And a cool tidbit: Jen and I lived in Savannah at the same time and taught at our LSS! Now we have both moved away and are coordinators for design teams with these two fab companies! It's a small world after all!)

 So it was extra sweet to work on this switcheroo together!

Here is my guest spot featured on EP's blog! I loved working with their lines!
Sharon headshotbw


Sweet Girl Mini Album
Echo Park's collection, Sweet Girl, is filled with fabulous colors and delightful patterns! Prima is known for their romantic products, but they work perfectly for bright, cheery lines as well. I had so much fun adding flowers, wood icons, washi tape, pearls and clips to the Little Girl mini featuring my two granddaughters. This brag book is surprise gift for Amariah, 3, who just gained a little sister. She can carry it around with her and show it off to everyone! Don't we all need a brag book to carry with us?
Echo Park:
Sweet Girl papers, stickers

Lady Bird Vintage Trinkets-563578
Wood Icons-563875
Songbird Pearl-553937
Zephyr Leaves-562502
Sun Kiss Flowers-555658
Zephyr Alphas- 559175
Serenade Roses-561451
Cabaletta Pink Flowers- 561758
Lyrique Felt Flowers-562069
Washi Tapes: 561178 (Welcome to Paris); 561185 (Rondelle)
LayoutlovethisfaceLove This Little Face Layout

This layout was absolutely wonderful to put together (in no time at all). Add the beautiful papers from the "Sweet Girl" collection. Then add flowers, pearls, leaves, washi tape, and a bit of Prima Packaging (black banners). Prima works very hard on their packaging so you get a FREE product and less waste.
Echo Park:
Sweet Girl papers, stickers
Wood Icons - 563875
Pearls - 300456
Zephyr Leaves - 562502
Sun Kiss Flowers - 555658
Serenade Roses - 561451
Washi Tapes: 561178 (Welcome to Paris), 561185 (Rondelle)
Family Layout
Beautiful Life is appropriately named! The papers and sticker accents work wonderfully with any family photo. I chose my favorite family photo (yes, we are a big family now that we have older girls with significant others, and a few granddaughters.) Add a few of the fun paper/sticker accents to create a colorful layout base...then top with Prima flowers, leaves, crystals and wood buttons for stunning results.


Echo Park Collection: Beautiful Life

Prima Products:
Tivona White Flowers- 557164
Welcome to Paris Leaves- 562380
Clear Crystal Sheets- 565053
Sunrise Sunset Wood Button- 564957
Welcome to Paris Roses- 562359


Hope you enjoyed these projects! 

:) Sharon