Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bunches of Birthdays!

Well, the end of May and June starts busy birthday months for us.  We have them in bunches!  We don't have many between January through May but my Dad's is at the end of May, mine and my sisters is June 3 (yep, coming up), two of my granddaughters are in June, as is my niece, my son-in-law and several friends.  Then a sprinkling of birthdays over the summer and then we start with another "grouping" in September through October!  Sheesh. 

So, cards are on my mind and honestly....I've been struggling!  I have seen so many beautiful cards posted on Pinterest and have watched my share of YouTube tutorials and I've been inspired but when I sit down to my desk I just can't seem to generate the kind of quality work I'd like too.  I have the tools, I have the stamps, I have the paper....way more than anyone should have that isn't making cards and projects fulltime. I keep telling my husband I'm stocking up for retirement!

I've made some that I've been pretty proud of but I made three today (that I can't post yet) but I attempted 7!  Four of them just weren't worthy of keeping.  Ugh.  I guess I keep on trying!

I may have posted a couple of these. But they were on my phone and I wanted to add them to my Pinterest page and this is the only way I know how.

Many of the cards I create are for a co-worker.  She's my best customer.   OK....she's my only customer!  The jar of flowers and the HOPE card are were made for her to give to her daughter that is going through breast cancer treatment.  Holding them both in my heart.  I've made others, including the motorcycle card but I didn't take pictures of them.

I'm loving my new dandelion embossing folder by Darice!  The one with the very colorful sunrise (?) technique is inspired by a card on Pinterest at Wendyscardcraft, I think.  This should link to it:  I have purchased two more Darice folders since and am loving them just as much.

Another new thing for me, also used on both dandelion cards is Nuvo drops!  They are great!  They take some time to dry but the end result is great! 

The Mermaid card was made last year for one of my granddaughters. She's getting a shaker card this year.  Also a new passion!  Very inspired by Vicky Papaioannou.  Yes, I'm a huge fan and go through withdrawal when she doesn't post for awhile and she has "inspired" me to purchase a "bunch" of new items over the last several months. 

Well, back to the craft table and hoping that my creative brain kicks into gear!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer Breeze-ing By

Sometime ago I told myself I was going to take a course or class to help me step up my skills...well, add too my skills....well, teach me skills!  So about a month ago I signed up for Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted.  It's not so much a class but a collaboration and inspiration type of experience.  Kelly shares her talents and creates as you watch or create along with her.

I have to admit that I was excited and enthusiastic about the first episode I watched (which was 3 into the start of the experience) and created what I thought was a pretty good example of what I watched. Original only in the fact that I had nothing like what Kelly had except maybe some paint which I've had forever and thought for sure it was probably yucky by this time.  Lucky me, it was just fine.  Anyway I was able to come up with a project from the get go.  Here it is:

I didn't think it was too awful and I actually think I added a bit to it even after I took this picture. I was sooooo out of my comfort zone.  But, I did it!  The next few episodes were not what I was hoping for in the series but I'm hanging in there with it.

So, in the same spirit of wanting to learn I have now become hooked on YouTube!  I have subscribed to many channels and have seen and followed many videos but I am most inspired by Vicky Papaioannou, Einat Kessler and Gabrielle Pollacco.  I think I've mentioned Gabrielle before in my blogs but she doesn't seem to be creating and/or posting as much.  I'm sure, being so talented, that she is a very busy woman.  I look forward to her posts when they do come out.  Vicky and Einat are equally as talented in their own right and talents.  Here is a piece I cased and made my own after watching a video by Vicky:
And, shortly after this another project, also cased from a Graphic 45 piece I saw on Pinterest:
And, in-between I was inspired by another gal on YouTube, Toni Burt,to make these two pieces:
As you can see I've been trying my hand at several different versions of mixed media and I'm loving it!  I am watching, learning, trying, failing, failing, failing, and trying again.  I have some really ugly pieces set aside to b reworked (which I now know I can do), but these are what I've done for now and I have another KRR inspired project started and hope to finish and post soon.  But while it was drying I did finally create another Tim Holtz tag, this one for the August 2016 challenge:
I'm still a Tim Holtz and Graphic45 junkie and continue to stock pile papers and emphemra for both and have many mental (and Pinterest pinned) projects that await enough hours in the day.

It's a long post but catches me up for now!  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March Muchness

You have to be familiar with Alice in Wonderland, the Johnny Depp version, to understand the term "Muchness".  Johnny/The Mad Hatter tells Alice that she has lost her muchness-that she is much less muchy than she used to be...or something to that effect.  That's kind of how I've been feeling of late.  I've made a few cards here and there, didn't make a tag for Tim Holtz challenge in February, did do a little love bug project for co-workers (that I've neglected to take a photo of but here is a link to the inspiration for them ), and made a couple of cards for co-workers that are leaving.  Today, I made a couple more cards, one for a neighbor who lost his sister and one for an upcoming baby shower for my cousin.  After 3 boys she's having a girl and is very excited, and finally, a tag for the March challenge.

But, back to my lack of seems to be creeping in everywhere...home, work, crafts, relationships.  Easier to keep to myself and not bother anyone, but no motivation.  Man, I'm depressing! LOL!!!  So, pushed through and made the tag.  Hopefully a good start to finding my muchness!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Do you want to build a snowman?

If I only had the energy I would!  The snow has been beautiful....cold, but beautiful.  We had so much fog last night that the frost this morning was sticking up off of everything.  But, it was so cold and I just couldn't make myself get out there with my camera.  I'm sure I missed some amazing shots.  So, instead I did a little clean up from the Christmas card gift and card making in my craft room.  Some sorting, some tossing.  I even created a box of strictly Christmas papers and ephemera of some of the items I used this year so I know where it is.  I am going to try my hand, again, at a craft show this year.  Fingers crossed...something health related has bumped me from participating two years in a row!

My Christmas cards this year were fairly simple but fun.  I'm a Santa fan and even have a small collection, mostly ornaments, so they were Santa inspired.  I always try to make them Santa related.  Here is a sample but it wasn't the final version.  I popped the star and the beard and mustache up on the cards I sent out, and added a bit more sparkle.  I used three different kinds of washi tape on the bottom but the belted looking tape was may favorite.  But, I sent them all out....all 60 of them!

Yesterday my sister, husband and I went to a very large and busy antique show.  There were so many beautiful antiques and many, many crafted and repurposed items.  It was a one day show with over 150 vendors.  It did inspire me though and I have many ideas swimming around in my head!

So, I did work on some thank you notes today and a tag for the Tim Holtz 2016 January tag challenge (below), and that was as far as I made it.  I didn't have the fail tape that Tim used in his project so I improvised with...well, foil!  It doesn't hold distress ink very well, even when I tried to heat dry it.  I also don't have Distressed Paints yet but I think it came out fairly well!
Back to the grind tomorrow and hopefully a few creative nights this week!  Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dashing through the snow.

Amazing!  Just amazing how time flies by.  October came and went and it's now 1/2 way through November with Christmas right around the corner.  Thanksgiving will be held at our home this year.  It has been a long time since we've had it here.  My husband has started moving things around and finishing up those little things that never seem to get done.  Ahhhh, the joys of retirement.  I, on the other hand am focused on work for one and getting some projects started and or finished.  I am bound and determined that next year I will participate in a craft show or may two.  There was one last year I missed due to gallbladder surgery.  I was so disappointed but it has allowed me to refocus and know what I need to do for next year.  This one in particular is held every other year with a quilt show hosted the alternate years.  So, that is my goal and have plans.  Now to just get to creating!

My most recent creation was putting together my costume for Halloween which we spent in New Orleans!  It was amazing.  Lots of creative costumes and interesting people watching.  They were very much into the holiday.  The French Quarter was highly decorated and packed from curb to curb on the night before and Halloween night.  We went to dinner in costume which was a lot of fun, garnering lots of attention.  It rained which "dampened" the "spirits" a bit but still an enjoyable evening.  We spent 6 days in New Orleans walking, looking, eating, river boating, cemetery inspecting and I took a lot of photos.  I will share a few here but took more than 300.  Thank goodness for digital!

Today I completed a tag with the guide of the November tag on Tim Holtz's blog.  I missed October but hope to finish out the year with the challenge.  I also pushed though and created 10 reindeer boxes for a co-worked who loved them so much last year that she wants to give them out herself this year.

Now to start on my Christmas cards! 

 My sister and my husband.
 Me and my husband.
Me and my husband 18 years ago!

Me and my husband - Steampunk

 Picture of me.
My dad, Phil and step-mom Jane
November tag - Tim Holtz Challenge

Reindeer boxes, still waiting for candy cane antlers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Insert Evil Witch Laugh Here

Sorry....I couldn't help myself!  Although there isn't much evil in me, all that know me understand that I am crazy about Halloween.  Work schedules and busy weekends in the fall somehow keep me from overdoing my own home in scary displays.  I know, I know...if it's important enough I'd find the time and I have in the past..just not much over the last couple of years.  Last year I had my gall bladder removed and even though it was suppose to be simple it kept out of work for almost 10 days and down for a good 6 weeks! Ugh.  I hope to have a better display this year.  A lot of people have sent me this photo on Facebook of skeletons crawling up the side of a house.  Ah...they know me so well!

Last week I attended Ghoul's Night Out at my favorite Stampin Up consultants home.  It had been a week at work and I started on the project but was actually enjoying visiting with the wonderful girls and my sister who also attended.  So, instead I took the projects home and completed them on my own and with my usual Kharen flair.  I knew it would have to have a few extra details other than what was in the kit and I have to say I'm pretty happy with it.  No offense Michelle T.  I love spending time with you and having you as my Stampin Up consultant!  I really did enjoy the time.  So, here is my completed Witch's Hat.  I should have bought another one!  I had so much fun with it!
Most of the product is on the front and sides of the hat.  I didn't go all the way around but I did use almost all of the leaves in the kit.  I also made the acorns dimensional by taking 3 of them, folding them in half and attaching them side to side and strung twine through each of them.  It's hard to see them in the photos but love how they came out.  I did ink the front sides of every leaf and just kept placing them until I was happy with the layout.  I hot glued everything!  I wanted to make sure it was secured for a long time.  I even maneuvered the burlap into the position that you see by tacking it in place with the glue gun.  I added the skulls, sunflower and orange daisies, additional orange and tulle ribbons, spider and spider web and some green leaves.  I had to stop myself there!  I also made a little burlap bow wrapped with waste! Until the next blog post Ghouls!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Honey Hues

I love that the Tim Holtz tag challenges have given me a good reason to get back into my craftroom with a purpose.  Not only am I participating in the challenge but working on other projects.  There's a reason my blog is called Kharen's Khreations....I can never seem to land on one project or medium to work in!  If you scroll to some of my earlier blogs you will see some wall hangings that I did a couple of years ago.  I had a wonderful instructor in KC Willis to learn how to make these.  Sadly, she doesn't do them any longer but her heart has taken her to more important and heartful adventures. You can find out more about her and her "pet" project, although much, much more than that, you can find her at  I miss creating with her. 

So, at the request of a co-worker I created a wall hanging of his brides father, centered around a photo he provided.  For the sake of lack of time and a better picture (for now) I am posting a quick photo of the wall hanging.  Ugh...I promise to replace it with a better picture of the final product plus maaaaybe a step by step of how I did it.  I'm not much on least not yet.
 So, the wall hanging took me all day!  But I was bound and determined to create my second Tim Holtz tag (September challenge), so here it is!  I didn't have the type of modeling paste that dried clear so I improvised and although you can't see it in the photo it the honeycombs do shimmer a bit.  I also really struggled with the swirling of just never worked for me.  It didn't help that I don't have the blending solution or the specified type of paper but I did ultimately like the color that I ended up with.  Getting into that fall feeling and here's my tag!
OK....a much better photo(s) and a finished product.  Very happy with the results! I did reign that wayward leaf back in.
 A little closer view.

 Don't you just love the leather on this?!  It came off of a piece that I found at a flea market.  My husband said it was a corn husker.  It wrapped around your hand and wrist but doesn't it look like a little fisherman's bag?  And the upper right hand piece came off the same apparatus. It has a metal piece on the underside of it which makes it very sturdy but the leather on it is yummy!  The organics on the left were the final piece.  It was exactly what it needed!

A close up of the "jewelry" near the bottom of the hanging.  I call it jewelry because it's kind of like the necklace on the piece. The little fish was a find by my husband while he was fishing. Perfect! And then the little ruler...a nod to the size of the fish caught.  I had some copper wire that I wrapped around the ends to give a little more somethin' somethin'.  Enjoy!