Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Cool Idea

So today is the day!!!  Today is an open house celebrating a friend's new digs.  More importantly.... her new crafting digs!!!  There is nothing more exciting than upgrading scrap space, I definitely know!!!  So for her housewarming (craft-room-warming as I'm calling it), I got her some organizational items for the new space.  You all know me.... it's all about the Chi!!!  So among some of the organizational items I got for her (and the thing I'm most excited about) was THIS little slice of awesomeness:

This is the Dignitet curtain wire from IKEA.  It doesn't look like much in it's packaging, but let me share with you just how cool this unassuming wire really is!!!

Use this wire with clips and hooks to store ribbon!!!  Get that ribbon OFF your work surfaces and on the wall!  It's visible, accessible and organized!!!  LOVE this idea (click on pics to go directly to the blog posts that featured each of these pics)!!!

Hanging curtains from the ceiling to divide a room or create a fun custom made canopy bed!  And then there's always the intended use... hanging curtains.

This pic of the curtains looks very modern and industrial.  What a great look for ANY craft space!!! :)

Then, of course, there's always the fun EMBELLISHMENT storage!!! What a fun way to SEE all of your embellisments while getting them out of the way.  This almost looks a little artsy fartsy if you ask me!!!  But I can't end this post without, what I think is the COOLEST use for this incredible wire, the gallery!!!  This wire makes for the perfect gallery to show off all the masterpieces that are created in your new craft space:

The pic shows the wire hung in a child's room, but I think this would look AMAZING with my Tim Holtz-esque tags hanging from it!!!  HMMMMMMMM.... I'm suddenly tempted to keep this gift for myself!

What other uses could this thing have????  You all know I'm gonna break down and get me one, or two!!!  Honestly, I think I'm finally running out of vertical space to cover!!! hahahahaha.  I hope this gave everyone some fun ideas!  Until next time.....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Who Let The Dogs Out

I know.... super corny title!!!  But this little guy needs some attention:

Isn't this one fun???  Today I get to feature "Texture" over on the Spectrum Noir Blog.  Not only did I FLOOD this card with texture, I also added a bit of texture to the Puppy Stampendous image to make him look furry.  The technique is so very simple.... once you've colored the image, simply take your blender pen and stipple.  Be sure not to over-stipple; remember that with the blender pen, the effect needs time to develop.  But within seconds you get insta-fur!!!  The Spectrum Noir colors I used were:
Dog:  TN1, TN3, TN5, TN9 and EB8
Letter:  IG1, IG2 and IG4
***eyes and nose were accented using sharpie and white gel pens

Other texture elements were in the different print papers I chose, the different fibers and the FUN stuff like..... I embossed a Vintaj charm in my Big Shot!  I also "smooshed" a bottle cap in my Big Shot and made a fun metal embellishment.  Here's how:
  • Place your bottecap in the Big Shot between two clear plates.  Make sure your multipurpose platform is set for embossing. When you run it through... it won't feel like anything happened, that's because the bottle cap is so small. :)
  • Then, color the edges of the bottle cap gold (if needed).  I used an American Crafts Gold Metallic Marker.
  • Stamp sentiment and punch out using 1" circle punch.  Chalk edges.
  • Position in the center of the bottle cap.
  • Finally, fill bottle cap with Glossy Accents and allow to dry.
  • For those in a hurry, 1" epoxy stickers can be used over top of your sentiment... I just haven't found any epoxy stickers that last very long, so I've stopped using them.
Ok, that does it.  This should be enough texture to keep everyone going for awhile!  LOL!  Be sure to head over to the Spectrum Noir blog.  Every day the design team shares awesome projects, tips and techniques.  This design team is turning out to be an AWESOME resource!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Punch Storage Alternative

The other day I posted my rubber/clear stamp storage (click HERE for post) where I place all my stamps on cling foam (if applicable) and stored them in numbered cd cases that are then cataloged in a binder with the stamped images along side the number of the cd case they can be found and the name/maker of the stamp set..... WHEW!!!  Seems like a lot, but honestly, when your stamps are organized this way soooooooooo much time is saved and you never have to worry about not being able to find a stamp!!!  Well..... how about a similar solution for your punches.  Some crafters I know have A TON of punches, and I prefer the IKEA punch storage (click HERE to see), but if you don't have a lot of wall space, the back of a door will do in a snap!!! 

Those nifty over the door shoe organizers are super affordable and will do the trick in a jiffy!!!

From plastic to canvas to mesh.... there are plenty of styles to choose from!!!  Then, punch all your punches using scrap paper and catalog them much like I did with my stamps.  Assigning numbers to each one of the pockets (from left to right, each row.... or however makes it easy for you) makes cataloging easy and relieves the stress of pouring through all your punches to find THE ONE punch you need.  It's always the LAST one you pick up, isn't it?!?  So here's a peek at some catalog pages:

Pretty cool huh???  Each pocket in the organizer is numbered that corresponds with the punch that can be found in it.  When a punch is needed, simply look in your catalog, locate the punch you want and you will know EXACTLY where to find it!  Easy Peasy.

Welp that's it for tonight.... clearly I'm in an organizing mood.  I keep thinking about different ways to keep things Feng Shui and keep our Chi moving!!!  Let me know if anyone out there has some fun organizational suggestions! FitterTwit out!

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken... a FitterTwit Original

It has been SOOOOOO long since I posted one of my healthy recipes, which is super weird since that's all I've been making for the past 5 months!!!  I actually have a few to share but have been a little preoccupied with my Spectrum Noir design team activities.  One kind of play interfered with another... so to speak.

So pictured is my Spicy Hawaiian that is COMPLETELY gluten free, crispy and soooooo yummy!!!

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken

In a large flat plate (I actually use a cookie sheet cuz I'm messy) mix:
1 C. coconut flour
1 C. shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper (less if you like)
1 tsp. each of black pepper and sea salt (more if you like)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper

Set aside.  In another flat plate place another 1 C. of coconut flour.  Set aside.  In a large bowl whisk:

3 organic eggs
2 Tbsp. water

Set aside.  Next is dipping the chicken.  Make sure you have a parchment lined cookie sheet that is sprayed lightly with olive oil cooking spray ready as your hands are going to get messy.

4-6 chicken breasts that have been lightly drizzled with olive oil

Dip each chicken breast into the plain coconut flour to coat.  Then dip into egg and coat again, then roll into coconut spice mixture until completely coated.  Place on cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and crispy... about 35-45 minutes.

This one turned out DELICIOUS!!!  It would be a perfect compliment to a Hawaiian slaw.... I gotta work on that one too!!!  Have a great one gang!  Let me know if you make this and what you thought of it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stamp Storage Made Easy

Yep, here is my entire rubber and clear stamp collection... about 300 stamp sets in all.  None of my stamps are on wood.  If I purchase a stamp that is attached to a wood block with foam, I am quick to remove the rubber from the foam, adhere the rubber to a piece of EZ Mount cling foam,trim and place in a cd case.  Luckily many of my favorite stamps are already mounted on cling foam so there is no wood/foam removal.  The stamps shown in the cd case below were all ready to place in a cd case!!!  Shown is Graphic 45/Hampton Art's Magic of Oz II set with Stampendous' Count Jack and Mumpkin.  How do I know what's there so quickly you ask?

Well, once my stamps are in a case, I assign a number to the case (if you click on the top pic, it will enlarge and you should be able to make out the numbers that are labelled on each case).  I then stamp the images on a page in my stamp catalog which, along with the stamped images, includes the name of the stamp set and which cd case number the stamped image can be found in.  Not only does this allow me to CONDENSE my stamp collection for minimal storage, but now I can find ANY image I want to use in a matter of seconds.  I just refer to my catalog, pick my image and VIOLA, the cd case number is listed right there.  I go to that cd case, pull my stamp and I'm off to the races!!!! Here is a sample of what one of my image catalog pages looks like:

The best part of this storage system is that ALL of my stamps are mobile!!!  No more digging for the stamps and struggling to pack them to take with me to crops.  Each cd case holds one layer of cling mount rubber stamps OR two layers of clear stamps because the clear stamps are thin (one layer inside the front cover of the cd case and one inside the back cover).

Any cd rack or bookshelf will work to store your stamps, I just prefer to have mine accessible on the wall so that they are up and out of the way.  The less surface space that I have to give up to storage, the better.  The cd racks that I'm using are from IKEA and run about $5.99 each (I have 2).  The binder was in the clearance rack at Staples for about $2.00 and the cd cases came from Big Lots and were about $3 per pack.  I would guestimate that I bought about 8 packs of cd cases.  You can probably find them cheaper online.  Just make sure you are getting the normal (large) cd cases.... the kind that music cd's come in.  The ultra thin jewel cases DO NOT hold stamps.  I made that mistake....

Ok, that is it for today's post.  I'm hoping this helps someone who is struggling with a quadrillion stamp sets that need to find a home!!!  Catch you all next time!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

THE Spectrum Noir Blog Hop You Don't Want To Miss!!!

Welcome to the very first Spectrum Noir Blog Hop EVER! And we are celebrating BIG TIME!!! Wait till you see what's up for grabs!!! Wait till you see all the amazing projects the design team put together for YOU!   If you are new to blog hops, simply visit each of the blogs below in the order shown and leave a comment on each designer's post finishing the hop at the Spectrum Noir Blog.

When you arrive at the end, be sure to leave a comment on the Spectrum Noir Blog telling us one fun new thing (tip, trick, interesting combination of colors, etc) you learned about the Spectrum Noir markers while hopping with us this week.  A random winner will be drawn using at 9:00 AM GMT, Saturday, June 23, 2012 and posted at Spectrum Noir.  The winner will have one week to claim their prize and will win a full set of 72 Basic Spectrum Noir Pens!  Yes, that's right...all twelve sets of six pens each.  AND..... if you add our Spectrum Noir blinkie to your own blog (be sure to let us know you did in your comment on the Spectrum Noir Blog Hop Post ), you will be entered into a second contest to win a $25.00 gift certificate USA or £25 voucher in the UK to be used on any Spectrum Noir product at Crafter's Companion (the US or UK site). To add the Blinkie, simply download the code from the downloads section on the Spectrum Noir Blog and place it prominently in the sidebar of your blog. Don't forget!

Now for my YELLOW project!!!

 I completed this "Celebrate You" wall hanging using Party Time Humphrey from Crafter's Companion. The Spectrum Noir colors I used for this cutie pie are:  IG1, IG2, IG3, IG5, CT1, CT4, TN2, TN5, TN7, PP2, PP4, PP5, DG1, DG4, CR1, CR11 and DR7.  Here's a close up...

When I was finished coloring this little guy, I colored in the stripes on his shirt using a simple black Sharpie ultra fine tip pen.  I THEN colored over various areas on him using a clear glaze pen.  Spectrum Noir markers are alcohol ink markers that dry fast and are a perfect base for glazes.  Glaze actually heightens the color effect!  I played with some lighting so that you could see it a little better:

Finally, I took a metallic green pen to the polka dots on the gift package and a gold metallic pen to the suspender straps.  I REALLY love coloring this image!!!  Click on any of the pics above to enlarge.

Ok, that's it!!!  I thought I'd leave you with another preview of the AWESOME pens up for grabs at the end of this hop!!!  Gorgeous aren't they?  Now, hop on over to the Amazing Leann's blog.... check out what she did (and check out the flowers)!!!!

Thanks for joining us today, have fun hopping and best of luck on winning a 72 piece set of Spectrum Noir pens (and maybe even a gift certificate)!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Few Weeks In Review

Tomorrow is Spectrum Noir's FIRST blog hop and while I was gearing up for the festivities tomorrow (you DON'T want to miss this hop..... TRUST ME), I went through my projects that I've completed with these awesome alcohol ink pens so far; this is a compilation of my very first Speccie projects.  For those who read my blog, you've already seen these projects, but for those who may join us tomorrow on the hop, ONE PROJECT does not do these incredible pens justice.  And I also noticed that seeing these projects back to back has really shown my progression with these amazing and affordable alcohol ink markers!!!  So here we go.... buckle in, this one's pic heavy (and feel free to click on pics to enlarge)!  LOL!

OMGosh.... aren't these pens fun!?!  Hope to see everyone tomorrow at the hop!

Welp.... the Spectrum Noir blog is runnin full steam and that means that I get another turn to play!!!  Today I'm sharing a tag that I made using my Spectrum Noir Pens using a dual-tone stamp technique to draw the eye to the subject.  For my post over at Spectrum Noir, I called it:  Dueling Mementos!  LOL!
Here’s how it's done.  Stamp your subject in a complementary color to the rest of your image.  In my tag, I stamped everything but the cabbage in Memento Rich Cocoa and then stamped JUST THE CABBAGE in Memento Bamboo Leaves because I knew I was going to color the cabbage green.  Had I colored the cabbage purple, I would have used Memento’s Lilac Posies to stamp the cabbage and then stamped the rest of the image in the Memento Bamboo Leaves instead of Rich Cocoa as purple and green are complimentary colors.  The use of a color wheel will help when using this technique as complimentary colors are found on the opposite side of the color wheel from each other.  Click HERE for a wonderful demo color wheel.  And for this one I kind of cheated as brown complements EVERY color in the primary color wheel (as does black and white).  So once I stamped the cabbage in the green Memento color,  I then colored the cabbage using Spectrum Noir’s DG1, DG3 and DG4.  That was it!!!  This is a fun and easy way to draw the eye.  Here’s a close up:

 I think that this technique really gives the cabbage a realistic look.  And with everything around it being yellow, the eye really pops to the cabbage.  I love it!!!  Here is a close up of the cabbage before I colored it:

Big difference, huh?!?  Give it a try.... I know you'll like it!   The images I used for this project came from TPC Studio's Victory Garden for the cabbage, Technique Tuesday for the alpha stamps to create "Love Grows" and Tim Holtz's Stampers Anonymous Papillon background.  Please let me know if you give this technique a try.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Another Hair Tutorial

Well.... The Spectrum Noir Design team is off and running with the newly active Spectrum Noir blog going strong!!!  Today is my day to feature and after a few glitches.... namely that I fell asleep last night and missed some pretty important emails, I'm finally up and running this morning!  Whew!  Don't you just love new beginnings??? hahahahahaha!  I'm super excited to share yet ANOTHER hair highlight.  So see my original Hair Tutorial Click HEREI just love coloring hair and those perfectly placed streaks that gives my colored images a bit of realism. Today I want to spend a little time reviewing exactly what gives you the ‘perfect’ hair.  We'll just call this a follow up to my original tutorial (instead of overkill).  I promise, it will be worth it!

This image was a FUN one to color simply because its pretty much ALL hair!!!  The Spectrum Noir colors I used on the hair were TN2, TN5, TN9, EB3 and EB8.  I started the hair by simply filling in the entire head of hair with the lightest color using the bullet nib.  Color used:  TN2.  If you are someone who does better to color from darkest to lightest, don’t fret, these markers work just as well going from dark to light, I just prefer to color hair going light to dark.  Stay tuned for upcoming tutorials on how to color hair from dark to light.  For the purposes of this project, I simply “scribbled” in the lightest color using a quick but light stroke.  See pic below.

Next, using a flicking stroke and the bullet nib again, I began adding my next darkest color:  TN5.  I said in my last tutorial, and I’ll say it again, if you stopped after only these two colors, you’d have a pretty sharp looking image.  But to add a couple darker colors will give you depth of color.  As you advance with your coloring, you will get quite a bit more confident with your color choices.  Luckily, Spectrum Noir’s color numbering system makes the whole process a SNAP!!!

 Here I add the darker colors using the same flicking stroke being sure to only add the darker color where I “see” shadows in the hair.  The colors used here is TN9, EB3 and EB8, layering each one to add a bit more dimension.  EB8 was ONLY used to add a dark shadow where the pony tail gathers.  Be careful with the darkest colors.... a little goes a LONG way.

 I finished her hair off by going over the whole thing with the first color that I used.  This final step blends all the colors and softens any harsh lines that I may have flicked while I was coloring.  Always be sure to use a light touch when coloring with Spectrum Noir markers. 

 Ok, there you have it.... another peek at how I color “streaky” hair.  I will be sure to practice the dark to light method so that no one feels left out... hehehe.  Have a great one, we look forward playing with you again soon here at Spectrum Noir!!!

All colors used:  TN2, TN5, TN9, EB3 and EB8 - Hair
                          EB3, CT1, CR7 and PP2 - Flowers
                          PP4, CR7 and DR5 - Collar