Friday, December 12, 2014

Hanukkah Card With StencilGirl Stencils



Hello everyone.  Today is a double whammy day.  I have the above Hanukkah card here on my blog and two other cool, mixed media type of Hanukkah cards on StencilGirl's blog!  3 cards in 1.  

Please click HERE or the photo below to check out the other two cards (but not until you check out this card first - LOL).


The cards look like a lot of work - but they aren't.  But I do love the colors and the designs.  

Step by Step:

1.  Cut the dark blue cardstock for card base.  Cut silver cardstock and adhere to dark blue cardstock.  Set aside.

2.  On a piece of scrap white cardstock, trace 1 of the large "candles" and 8 of the smaller "candles" from the Shattered stencil. I suggest using a pencil to trace and then go back with a permanent marker afterwards.

Using the different elements on the Shattered stencil, design each of the "candles" with a pencil.  Then trace with the permanent Marker.

Then color them in and cut them out.


3.  Take the white cardstock and draw a light line at 2 3/4" from the bottom.  


4.  Apply some small pop dots to the back of each candle.  Starting with the center candle, align it in the center along the line you drew.  Then adhere the other 8 candles. Trim off the bottom of the candles.  Then erase the pencil line.


5.  After looking through my stencils for something to use as the candle flame, I found it within the Peacock stencil from the January 2014 StencilGirl Club kit.  Traced it 8 times.  Colored them in, cut them out and adhered above each of the candles.  Then adhered the white cardstock to the silver cardstock on the card front.



6.  Applied stickles in colors that matched the colors in my candles.  Allow to dry.  

Card done!!



Supplies Used:
9" x 12" Peacock Stencil by Jessica Sporn for StencilGirl Products (Jan. 2014 Club Kit)
Dark Blue Cardstock - 7" x 10", scored at 5" for card base
Silver Cardstock - 6.75" x 4.75"
White Cardstock - 6 5/8" x 4 5/8"
Pencil and Black Permanent Fine Tip Marker
Ruler
Small Pop Dots
Stickles 
Marker of your choice (I used Tombow)

Hope you guys love the card.  Remember to check out the cards on StencilGirl Talk. 

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Monday, December 8, 2014

Artists Give Back - Amazing Auction - Get Your Holiday Gifts NOW!!


Hello everyone.  Are you looking for a one of a kind, fantastic piece of art for a holiday gift?  Or are you the type that loves to just help out for important causes?  

Well there is an amazing auction going on that was started by the fantastic Jessica Sporn -  to help raise awareness about female genital mutilation and to help bring an end to this ceremony imposed on young girls. 





All proceeds from this auction will be donated to http://www.pastoralist-child-foundation.org/, an organization devoted to educating and empowering girls with vital information needed to resist FGM and forced early marriages, and to adopt safe and peaceful Alternative Rites of Passage to womanhood.

There are currently 47 pieces in this auction including books, clothing, jewelry, and amazing pieces of art by some very very talented artists including Jessica Sporn, Jodi Ohl, Ronda Palazzari, Kirsten Reed, Judy Shea, Dina Wakely, France Papillon, Pam Carriker, Jill Meyer, Mary Beth Shaw - and many many more!!

Although I was asked to participate in this auction, I was not able to.  But I will next time.  I hope you can stop by, check out the items in the auction - maybe place a bid!! 

Or two!! 


If you cannot bid, please share this blog post or the auction site and spread the word.  The auction runs from today through December 12th!  

Until next time!

Hugs from Brasil - 

~Michael

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Trip to the MDF (Kaisercraft) Store


Gosh, I meant to do this post last Friday. Where does the time go?  Anyway, while all of my American friends and family were having feasts for Thanksgiving and, since this is not a holiday that is celebrated here and we have no one to celebrate with, we went shopping. 

If you are a crafter, you probably know the Kaisercraft brand.  If you are not a crafter, Kaisercraft is an Australian company that manufactures small craft items made from wood, as well as stencils, papers, stamps and more.  But they are really known for their wood products.  

We have a town about 20 minutes away, called Pedreira, which is also known for their stores selling MDF wooden products.  Pedreira probably has over 200 different stores just selling MDF products that range from small little dollhouse pieces all the way up to pieces of furniture. Some of the stores are small little shops and others are huge warehouses.  It's crazy!! 

Arts and crafts is huge here in Brasil and painting MDF pieces, especially boxes of every size you can think of and then applying papers, stencils, and textures, is the norm here.  And, as a crafter, one can get dizzy in some of these stores!!  

Below are some of the photos from one of our favorite stores - Vitrine.  They even have a Facebook page.

This is just one aisle.

Another aisle in the back of the store.

Can anyone say IKEA?  

Boxes of every size possible.  These small boxes are normally painted and given as wedding and baby favors.

Some of the unpainted furniture.

One side of the store is just painted and finished furniture that you can buy.

Dollhouses and everything you can think of to put into one.
So, who is planning a visit here soon?  I will take you to Pedreira if you bring me a package of Double Stuff Oreos.  LOL

Until next time!!  

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael
  

Puppy Update and Client Madness

Hey everyone.  Sorry - it's been a crazy time and, as much as I have wanted to blog, I have been crazy busy with other things.  Like puppies!!  And emergency, last minute projects for clients.  Puppies are doing well. Sunshine, Cappuccino, and Whiskey have all opened their eyes.  Just waiting for Latte to open his now!


As for the clients, last Friday we had someone stop over asking if I could make a signature book for her nephew's wedding. 

Sure I can. 

She wanted something simple.  25 black pages inside. Simple silver/white/black look. When did she need it by?  3 days later!  I was able to pump this out in less than an hour!! 

Below are photos of the front of the book and the inside cover and first page.



Then, not more than an hour later, another customer stopped by asking me to make some Christmas cards for her.  She told me she wanted 6" square cards but she wanted the front to look like a closed box, where the 4 sides interlock with each other.  

Um, okay.  

I told her that I would figure out how to do that.  She wanted 20 cards.  I told her I would need at least 2 weeks to get them done. She needed them within a week because she was leaving for holiday and begged me to try to get them done sooner. (Brasilians love last minute projects.)

After checking Pinterest (my daily addiction), I found someone that had made a template for the card.  Easy peasy.  Next up was to get the production line moving.  

The production line of the 20 cards.  

The 20 cards done!!  
The final card with the photos of the two dogs.
Inside is just white cardstock.
20 cards done by Wednesday night.  2 days ahead of schedule.  Just so you know, the client has yet to pick them up!!  So much for needing them quickly.

Now I am working on some new holiday cards to get out to family!!  

Have you guys started or finished your holiday cards yet?  Just curious. Well, until next time -

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bella Was Pregnant! Who Knew?

Bella with her new babies - Sunshine, Whiskey, Cappuccino, and Latte (we think)

Good morning everyone.  I had done another card yesterday morning but did not have time to write up anything about it because my day went haywire in the afternoon.  

We have puppies!!

As many of you know, we have 3 dogs.  Sasha (a pitbull,) and Max and Bella, mixed mutts from the streets.  Both rescue dogs.  Well, long story short - I wanted to get Max fixed as soon as we got him.  But we didn't.  Then Bella went into heat right when I was leaving for NY.  Ruy did his best to keep them apart but apparently it didn't work.  LOL.  It seems that Bella had gotten pregnant while I was away.  Yeah, I know, it's not just her fault!  

When I got back here to Brasil the first thing I said to Ruy - after I saw Bella - was that I thought she looked pregnant.  Her nipples were larger, her belly was bigger and hanging down.  He told me there was no way she was.  

A few days ago I went online to ask Uncle Google how to tell if a dog is pregnant. Bella pretty much had all the symptoms.  One thing that Uncle Google told me was that about 2 days before giving birth, she would start to "nest" in her comfort zone.  Well 2 days ago she went into her house and pretty much stayed there all day. Again I told Ruy that I think she is pregnant and going to give birth.  He told me "no way is she pregnant". Yesterday she would not come out of her house at all.  At one point Ruy went to the back to check on her and I was upstairs, when all of a sudden I heard "oh my God!".

Well, Ruy cannot tell me that I am crazy anymore.  Because he went to the back just as she was giving birth to puppy number 1. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 came right after.  What a wild ride.  

I video taped her giving birth to puppy number 3, which is below.  Some might find the video gross but I think it is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.  It still amazes me that she knew exactly what needed to be done.  She cleaned the sack away from the baby's face to get her breathing. She bit the cord away so that she could get her to one of her nipples.  Just amazing!!


Anyway, Momma and babies are doing well.  We put them in a big box in the store since we are there all day.  I will post photos as they grow.   

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael