Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: Top Summer Essentials

Hello!  For this week's Fashion Over Fifty lets talk about what to wear in the summer when your over fifty and it's HOT outside.  I recently had a conversation with a woman who is in her seventies,  who said that she struggles with what to wear in the summer because she doesn't like to show her arms.  Well, we all have some body part we like to hide no matter what our age, but the list of body parts we like to hide seems to get longer as we age!   For me, I'm always trying to diminish the size of my upper arms,  and hide my stomach.  My legs, though thin, are covered with bruises and red marks, so I don't like to show those either;  but I will if temperatures soar.

My top summer essentials for staying cool, comfortable, and still 'hide' my imperfections, are knit dresses and maxi skirts.  The outfit below I wore on the Fourth of July.  I bought the dress last year from the Joe Fresh line sold at J. C. Penney.  It is a sleeveless, knit jumper that is very cool and comfortable.  Because I like to hide my upper arms and it was too warm to wear a jacket, I wore a white jeweled tee shirt from Old Navy underneath.  On other occasions, I have worn this same dress with a jean jacket, and on very hot days, with a tank top underneath.

 I love how it is totally fashionable to wear tennis shoes with dresses these days. You know me, I'm all about comfort:  especially on my feet!   Because it was a patriotic holiday, I chose these Keds red tennis shoes (also from J.C. Penney) to wear,  but I also love how they add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral ensemble.
 Even though the shoes have laces they slip on and off quite easily.
 The embellishments on the tee shirt are very subtle.  They sparkle, but because they are white jewels, they blend in with the shirt.  I like just the hint of glamour the jewels add to the tee.
So what about you?  What are your top summer essentials for staying cool and comfortable in hot weather?  I'd love to hear from you!

And if you love old churches like I do, here is a full picture of this beautiful Catholic church in downtown Eau Claire where these pictures were taken.  GORGEOUS!

Have a great day!  Amy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Daughter's Cards: The Difference in the Creative Process of Card Making

Hello!  I wanted to do a flower garden post today but I realized I deleted all my flower pictures from my computer.  So I went to Instagram, thinking I could copy and paste them to my blog, but  'NO' apparently there is no way you can retrieve your own photos once posted to Instagram,  because I tried and I tried and I can't get them back.  Does anyone know of a trick I'm not aware of?  In any case, if you are interested in what my garden looks like this year, you will have to check out Instagram because all the pictures are over there!

So in place of a garden post, I decided to showcase my daughter's cards and talk about the unique creative process we all possess.  My daughter was visiting us back in June, and we always love to have some Mother/Daughter time in my craft room when she is home.  While watching Ashley create, I noted how different her creative process was from my own.  When I make a card, I first start with the occasion.  What do I need the card for?  Is it for a birthday, holiday, etc.?   From there I usually go to my computer and search for either a sketch or a card to case from another designer.  Then I proceed to make the card, and through the creative process, it usually ends up looking NOTHING like the original sketch or card I started to case;  so, when I post it to my blog, I usually don't link it to the original artist for that reason.  My card usually changes or evolves from the original inspiration piece because I have different images that don't quite fit the same, or different papers and embellies that give it a completely different look.

My daughter on the hand, creates completely differently than myself.  She starts with an occasion, like I do, but rather than search for an inspiration piece or sketch, she begins by searching through my multitude of papers to find something she likes or that she knows is the recipient's style.

Because she loves to decoupage, she loves designer papers,  and uses the papers as the main focal point of the card rather than a stamped image like I do.

Here is a birthday card she made which uses only designer papers and a stamped sentiment.  She added a simple piece of ribbon for embellishment.
 She made this anniversary card for her husband.  The couple and sentiment are stamped, but everything else is just designer paper.  The moon was cut out from a separate piece of designer paper and the clouds were made with a Cuttlebug embossing folder, some sponging, and an MFT cloud die.
 Everything on this card is also just designer paper except the two words 'Happy' and 'Birthday'.
 The Paris background is designer paper from DCWV.  All Ashley did to create this beautiful card was add a die cut flourish from MFT and some flower die cuts.
Ashley's style is much more vintage, romantic, and layered than my own clean and simple style.  It's amazing how different we are as artists, yet, the same, because we are both creative in many different ways.

Now, as an example of my creative process, I needed to make a card for a young man.  First, I went to Pinterest and found this card:
I really liked this card, and I actually TRIED to make it exactly like I saw it.  But, as usual, it wasn't working.  Even though I thought the above card looked awesome, my version looked to 'blah'.  So this is what I came up with:

I kept the football helmet, but I got rid of the white space and added another layer of designer paper and a football.  All the papers are from a masculine paper pad by DCWV.  I cut the sentiment out of the same designer paper.
 The images are retired Stampin Up!.  I popped the helmet up on dimensionals.
It looks quite different than the original card doesn't it?  They almost always do.

So what about you?  What is your creative process in paper crafting or any other hobby you do?  Do you start with an inspiration piece like I do, or do you start with something you'd like to work with like my daughter does with designer paper?  I'd love to hear from you!  It might give me some new ideas!

Have a great day!  Amy

Monday, July 21, 2014

Take the Plunge & Make a Splash!

Hello!  Summer has finally made it to Wisconsin,  it will be 90 degrees today!  Yeah!  And in honor of some hot temperatures,  here is a warm weather card  I made with my favorite Doodle Garden image.  I just love this little girl.  The  water toy on her head is hilarious!  

To make my card I cut the image out after coloring and adhered here to the card base with dimensionals  All the paper is old designer paper from my stash.  I thought the sponged blue paper looked a lot like water or the sky, and I just added a strip of coordinating designer paper to match.  I used my 'wave' Fiskars punch for a little border on the side, and a flower Nestability to make the sun. I added dew drops for embellishment to mimic water drops.
 The image was colored with Copic Markers.  I gave her a little 'suntan' too!
Have a great day, and get out and enjoy this warm weather!  Amy