Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gitana, the Design Team Diva

(Click on an image for a larger view.)

You may recall that in an earlier post I mentioned that I had been invited to become a design team member for About Art Accents, a rubber stamp company and one of the sponsors for the Oriental Stamp Art (OSA) Yahoo group. AAA provides me with rubber stamps and I, in turn, use them to create art that is then featured in its online gallery. During my recent flurry of activity (see my previous posts), I had received the first delivery of stamps and was anxiously awaiting a free moment in which to "play" with them. Here you see my first attempts with some of the many stamps I received. In both cases I chose to use a dark navy blue base card for a dramatic backdrop.

The card with the flowering branch in a vase was made with AAA Plate #244B - Covered Teacup. The image was stamped with gold pigment ink onto navy blue card stock and embossed with gold ultrafine embossing powder. The flowers were punched from white glitter paper with a six petal flower punch. The tip of each petal was then carefully notched with a 1/16" hole punch to mimic the flowers in the background washi paper. The petals were lightly sponged with a light pink, being careful to leave the very center of the flower untouched. The petal points were sponged with a darker shade of pink for depth. A light fuschia marker was lightly traced over the edges of the petals to make the flowers pop from the background. A pink rhinestone in the center completes each flower. The branches are thin slivers of brown card stock that are glued together along 1/4 of the length. I just randomly placed it on the card front and bent the free ends to mimic the growth habit of a branch. It was glued into place with Zip Dry glue and the flowers were adhered with pop dots for height. The vase was adhered using two layers of foam tape for sufficient height to clear the branch stem. The background washi papers are from Hanko Designs, another one of OSA's wonderful sponsors.

The next card was created using AAA Plate 246 - Paired Koi Pond (Light), a wonderfully detailed stamp depicting two koi swimming playfully amid swirling waves. I used sketch layout (sk071710) from Paper Craft Planet's weekly sketch challenge. Since I haven't been able to participate in any challenges or swaps lately, I decided to take this time to make my card do double duty. I chose a monochromatic blue color scheme for the water and surrounding decorative elements. To avoid losing the fish among the highly ornate waves, I colored them in shades of orange to make them stand out. The dark blue waves are highlighted with blue microbeads to give them a little depth and add some textural interest.(See close up photo for bead detail.) Nestabilities Fleur de Lis pendant die set provided the ornate mat behind the fish panel as well as the individual die cuts used to create the decorative edge below. Sentiment by Heidi Grace "Beyond the Sea" acrylic stamp set.

: About Art Accents recently acquired Art Neko Stamps. As of this writing, AAA was in the process of merging the two websites. The above link to AAA will take you to the Art Neko website ( If you encounter problems connecting to that site, please try

Ballo ergo sum- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Project Update...

I delivered the completed project to my client and he was delighted with it. He liked it so much he ordered another one on the spot. This project is a monitoring vest to be used for an Alzheimer's research project. Because of the proprietary nature of research projects, I prefer not to show pictures of the vest so as not to incur any chance of infringing on the researcher's rights.

I had cleared off my work table in anticipation of working on other things but it looks like I'll have to bring out my sewing machine again. Busy, busy, busy. I like busy.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The work continues...

I have been in a whirlwind of activity lately, so much so that I haven't had a minute to craft a card in well over a month. I'm beginning to go into withdrawal but I think there may be a lull soon that will allow me a moment to unwind and craft. My latest project was to recreate a monitoring testing vest for use in an ongoing research project at the local senior college. I'm happy to say that I completed the vest and will be delivering it to the client tomorrow. The vest, which is covered in panels of Velcro-like hook and loop fabric, proved to be quite a bit more challenging than I anticipated because it kept sticking to itself. Also the panels created extra bulk in the seams, preventing them from lying flat. There was a bit of a learning curve involved here but I managed to come out at the other end alright. Now I'm hoping the client doesn't mind some of the imperfections this learning curve caused. We shall see. In the meantime I have to catch up on some of the other work that fell to the wayside while I was working on the vest like mending, ironing, cleaning, and best of all, CRAFTING! I can't wait to reclaim my crafts table so I can mess it up again.

Ballo ergo sum- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Friday, July 2, 2010

So Much to Tell...

(Click on an image for a larger view.)

Where do I start? There is so much to say.

First let me say that I completed the six large paper flower arrangements for my daughter's high school graduation and they looked magnificent. Here's a picture of how they looked across the front of the auditorium stage. They are approximately three feet from top to bottom and two and a half feet across.

While I was in the midst of paper flower frenzy, I received a call to create another project of a totally different sort, one that requires my skills as a seamstress. I'll be recreating a monitoring vest used in the medical field for an Alzheimer's research project. I haven't even begun that project yet and I'm being contracted by yet another client who needs invitations designed for her annual client appreciation event. I had hoped to dedicate my summer to doing business research and creating a business plan but it appears I'll be too busy being in business to do any research about being in business. Not a bad problem to have.

In addition, I have been asked to become a design team member for About Art Accents, the rubber stamp company that sponsors Oriental Stamp Art, the Yahoo group I belong to. I accepted and have received my first set of rubber stamps with which to create cards and other works of art.

As if all this isn't enough, there is more. I have just received notification from my favorite crafts supply store, A. C. Moore, that I have won their sweepstakes for a trip for two to the biggest crafts show in the country, the Craft and Hobby Association Supershow in Rosemont, Illinois taking place during the last weekend in July. I am waiting to hear from a sweepstakes official so I can satisfy myself that this is not a hoax. Then I'm going to start packing my bags.

In the middle of all of this activity on my part, I've had to deal with:
- my youngest daughter's graduation and all the attendant social engagements that go along with it,
- hosting my oldest daughter and family who came up from North Carolina for the graduation
- Father's Day
- my husband's birthday
- doctor and dentist appointments
- preparing my new graduate to move to North Carolina with her sister to attend college.

Brother, I think I need a rest.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva