Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creatively Breathing

Don't you just love visiting one of your favorite crafting friends and finding they are sharing their creative process with you? I always come away with great ideas to incorporate into my own work pattern.  I thought I would share my process with you today and tips I have learned that have helped me greatly.

On this day I know that I am going to make paper clay items. I have arranged the Styrofoam shapes by the characters they will become. I have gathered items that are essential to making the items such as sticks for shakers, ice cream cups for snowmen, pipe cleaners for elves, and felt for owls.

With each step of the craft, I will work until my desk is cleared of supplies. Being able to see the beginning and end of a step helps me stay focused and know there IS an End in Sight! All shapes are covered with paper clay,

and set in front of a small fan to dry.

I believe color is the easiest guide to follow when you are not sure what your finished project will look like. I don't care a whit about pattern, it's all about the color.

Meri, ImagiMeri, gave me this beautiful rusty red paper napkin that I just knew had to become a fall craft. I looked at my supplies for items that would go with this color. A brown fishing card and brown striped legs are a perfect start.

I knew I was on the right track when I made a party hat out of the napkin. A tag on the card wishing Dad a Happy Birthday sets the theme for the craft. I have gone through this process with each character and have gone ahead and made each of their paper stands. Next it is time to

A must purchase for all your painting needs is a large round brush for covering large areas, a medium flat brush for shading (cheeks) and a package of liner brushes. TIP draw your LEFT EYE first if you are right handed. It is so much easier to copy on the right side. This also applies when stitching. PAINT WHITE FIRST, BLACK LAST. You can paint white over your pencil drawn eyes, the lines will show through.

There is just no way around them! TIP don't worry about mistakes made painting with black. You can thin lines with adjoining colors. (Note orange and white paint) Everything is now painted, my craft table is clear once again. It is time to plug in the glue gun.

With all my characters glued on their bases, it is time to tell their stories. The theme for this year's holiday crafting is City Sidewalks. I have been imagining all the goings on at Bigsby's Department Store. I can't keep up with the ideas this scenario conjures. There are so many positions to fill!

Elves to assist customers,

Elves in charge of Departments,

to sidewalk Elves ushering in customers.

But back to my little owl. Oh my gosh, he tells his story beautifully. My husband loves to feed the birds, and he loves to fly fish.

Favorite crafts made can be interpreted for every holiday!

From my spring colored owls to fall owls, from Boo pumpkin to Boo shaker, these are TOO Cute for words! I absolutely love them. It's now time for my very favorite task step,

I am often left comments about how sweet my photographs look. I have only a simple digital camera, but I do have a few tips to share. TIP 1.Use natural light when possible.  2. Light behind objects to photograph with a portable lamp from behind. (You wouldn't believe the places I have perched my pole lamp!) 3. Use another smaller lamp to direct towards the back light slightly above and to the left or right of your head. 4. Use a sheet of white paper to cut out any glare. (There isn't a photograph I take that doesn't use this tip!)

Most of your craft room photographs will use the MACRO setting, FLASH OFF. A mistake many make on their blogs is depressing the button right away. ALWAYS lightly push button, HOLD as you hear motor whir, DO NOT COMPLETELY COMPRESS BUTTON UNTIL YOU HAVE THE SHOT YOU WANT. You can hold the button or let it go and start again without actually taking a picture.  Learn this, and you will be amazed at the photographs a simple camera can take.



I have just shared one day in the life of this Creative Breather. I love to craft, and I thank you for letting me share this with you!


sassypackrat said...

Great tips! Love your very special creations!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, it's always a holiday in your house! I love each and every one of your sweet creations! Happy crafting, my friend!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love all these cute little faces, Elizabeth! Just looking at them makes me happy. Great tips!

Holly Loves Art said...

Such a lovely post and so much work went into it! You're so sweet to share your talents with all your blog readers. Just love the little pictures and tutorial. What fun! You have such talent!

laurie -magpie ethel said...

Adorable creations! I love how you clear your table between each step. Mine is crazy cluttered until the bitter end...paint, glue, sequins...everything all willy nilly.

My Vintage Mending said...

I clean my desk at each step as well. I like to make sure I don't miss anything. I love every single detail of your craft and would consider a day in your room and wonderful vacation. Your creations are beautiful and your tips are incredibly valuable. White paper...who knew...smiles..Renee

Hearts Turned said...

So adorable, Elizabeth...each and every sweet creation! I love your process and your tip-sharing--thank-you, dear friend!

Wishing you the loveliest day...


Musings from Kim K. said...

I love how your creative mind works, Elizabeth. You definitely give each of your special characters extra special personality with all your amazing touches. I'm a very organized person at work, but my creative process is quite messy in my craft room. Each project does get cleaned up at the end of the night through. Wonderful tips in this post. Halloween hugs!

Shara said...

OH, I make a horrible mess when I do my crafting - glitter everywhere, beads here and there. But, I have fun with it! My organization hint is that I store my like bits and bobs in old cigar boxes and old chocolate boxes that I find yard saling. They stack up neatly and they are pretty to look at - especially the chocolate boxes. I love each and every one of your creations!

marie said...

You are very generous Elizabeth...a giveaway a week is a lovely thought!
Thank you for the photo tips...I have a simple camera too. I'm going to try a little photo shoot this weekend.

Your studio is so is your creating! I loved hearing about "a day in your life"! I see all your wonderful supplies and envision them in all sorts of glass containers. I love storing things in glass...especially color things like you have.

Tammy's in Love said...

Don't you dare take this post down until I print it all! The CB Process! And I'm in love with the elves, no matter what their job is, they are dressed for success! Now, here is my humble organizing tip: I use a stand up file on my desk that has one file folder of stickers with alphabets, when I need to put words to something, I grab that file to make accessing those stickers easy!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Use a shoe holder on the back of your craft room door for more storage space...and a stand-up paper towel holder is great for rolls of ribbon!

vintage grey said...

Oh, Elizabeth I am always in awe of your sweet and beautiful creations! When sewing, I always clean up after I am done, so each day it is clean. I always get so many threads everywhere. Thanks for sharing such great tips! xo Heather

kimber said...

You make my heart so happy! Such eye candy and wonderful tips! I am not very organized as I am constantly on the run caring for my daughter and her family but I have my projects in totes that I can carry with me. I do my machine sewing at home on the weekends, my stuffing while sneaking in a movie at home and the hand stitching goes with me while I taxi the kiddos! Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful tips! Now to get organized...LOL!

RetroSandie said...

Thank you for the information today! I LOVE to see the creative processes of talented people!! I'm sorry you are giving up your darling shop-but...YIPPEE on your giveaways! How generous you are! I like everything organized-in boxes, totes, etc. I guess my tip would be to label anything not see-thru. I'm getting to like clear containers of all sorts better and better!!! I also like everything I'll need right close at hand. So that means a change of tools etc. depending on the craft. But I like to put my hand on what I need right away!!!! Thank you thank you!!!

Diane Mars said...

I never clear my table only when I am ready to totally warp up one project...seems I always have something going on and it is always a bit of a mess! You lucky girl to be so organized, I am on a mission to purchase more plastic tubs those seem to work best for me, I just stack away! LOL ~ HuGs

Janet's Creations said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Once again, thanks for sharing. Your blog always makes me a little excited. I'm afraid I am not as organized as you and I've faced the fact that I never will be. That's just the way I am, amen. I can give you a stuffing tool tip, however. Take a 1/4" dowel and break off about 1 inch off one end. The little jagged edges of the broken dowel catch the poly stuffing and you can stuff like crazy. This is especially useful if you are stuffing a long narrow tube (such as a doll's arm).
Thanks for all the good stories and cute characters.

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

I'm scanning and scanning my brain for organizational tips...and I have determined that I am the most unorganized crafter ever! Haa!
One thing that I did was to tape a yardstick right to the edge of my craft table. It helps so much for measuring out ribbon and trims fast. Plus I was always looking for my lost measuring tape!
Elizabeth, I so enjoyed this very helpful post! Believe me, I will be using these tips!
Erica :)

Perfectly Printed said...

Thanks for the lesson on how you craft litle people. We may be able to learn how to create characters, but the storytelling.......all you girl!!


Teresa said...

Hi, Elizabeth! I always love your tips on how you do what you do. As for a crafting organizational tip, I always group items together in a way that I use them. In my craft/family room, I have 5 vintage breadboxes that hold crafting items for the major holidays (Valentine's, Spring/Easter, Halloween/Fall, Christmas/Winter, & all occasion). Within these, I put ribbon, chipboard, anything small (except paper) related to that holiday. Whenever I feel like making a craft for Halloween, I grab that specific box & all the little stuff is together. I don't know if that's an earth shattering organizational tip, but I wanted to leave a comment. The Christmas creations are adorable as usual! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

LBP said...

Thanks so much for all the tips and your characters are delightful! You bring them to life with all your details!

Once I finish a craft I have to completely clean the craft room and have it in tip top shape before I begin another. Crazy Huh?

My tip- I have 12x12 plastic drawers and I store my scrapbook paper by color. It cuts down on time spent looking for a certain color if you know where to start looking.


craftyles said...

The photography tips are great. I didn't know that about backlighting and the white paper for glare. I feel like I just spent a day watching you create your magic! Such cute creations, E.

Elaine said...

I love your blog Elizabeth. I would love to spend a day with you in your room, think of all the things you could learn first hand. I am such a visual person, I like to see things being made.

My tip would be: do not put anything away until you are completely finished with the can put the project into boxes, containers, etc. but keep it all together until finished.

Jess said...

Ziploc bags are a must for all my little hand sewing projects and patterns after they have been cut (they never go back in package neatly). Then I can just grab a bag and take it with me to work, appts, whatever and get at least a little something done.

I strive to have a craft room as cheery as yours. I know it will never be as neat, but that is my burden to bear :)

Thank you for the time you dedicate to your blog and crafts.

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Your creations are just the sweetest! I always clean up my area from what ever I may be working on, whether its jewelry making, sewing, or crafting. I always like a clean area to work with especially for next time :) Your tips and tricks are so helpful too! Thank you! Hope you have a great day! xo Holly

Jennifer said...

Love all your beautiful crafts. One way I organize my fabric is by cutting foam board and wrapping the fabric around (like the bolts in the store) it fits neatly on the shelf and I can see readily what fabric I have.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Came to visit from Shara's blog where I read your comment. What lovely crafts you make! Love the Elf and I know it's found a great home with Shara!
Hugs, Linda


Hi E,
Loving all your new Christmas creations! You are very organized and I'm learning from you! I don't have any tips for you! I'm just enjoying all the sweetness that you make!
Happy 1st Anniversary to your daughter and SIL! Time flys!

TheNormanFive said...

Thanks E with your tips. You do such a great job on all you do. I love it all. I really do not have any tips... Wish I did! Thanks for the inspiration.

Another crafter...

GardenOfDaisies said...

I love all the creative characters you create and the stories that go along with them.
Thank you for sharing these great photo tips. I need to start using your back light tip, to avoid shadows.
I really wish I had a tripod, for low light photos. Trying to get a decent picture of my lit Christmas tree, for instance, is nearly impossible. I rest my camera against a chair, and hold my breath until I take the shot, and still have trouble getting a clear photo.

Celestial Charms said...

So wonderful to get a peek behind the workings of your oh so organized mind! I learned a great deal of tips, for sure. I love your ability to define each detail. What I wouldn't give for that gift! Your sweet, happy creations are simply magical. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne said...

Thank you for giving us a peek at your artistic process. I think your work is awesome!
Blessings, Joanne

A Little Creation said...

I'm a fly by the seat of my pants type of crafter. I try to keep organized but it never ends up that way. =] After seeing your step by step process I now see why my snowman Stanley kept falling on his face! Thanks for the insight.

Karey said...

Hi there! Saw your pics on Oct Afternoon flicker and then found your blog. Your creations are adorable.

Jenni Swenson said...

You are such an artist! I'm amazed every time I read your blog!! Loved seeing your creative process!

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