Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools Challenge

To start with we're bringing you just one challenge this month. And you're even getting it a few hours early! So no complaining that you didn't have enough time! And since so many of you clubbies had problems with even doing last months challenges, why come up with 3! Bunch of slacker crafters we turned into last month! Let's see if we can't do better this month.

The point of the club is participation. So even if you're not crafting we'd still love to see comments from you! Even if it's "Aaaah! Life has steam rolled me over this week & I didn't have any time to do anything craft related!" At least you're are participating. And in return your fellow crazy crafters will be able to be supportive for you. So comment, comment, comment! Pretty please??

And without further ado ..... Your First Challenge For April!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Motivation Monday and Pencil Day!

Crafty Saffy here, and I wanted to share another fun holiday from my calendar of odd and obscure days-

National Pencil Day!
March 30

Now how could I pass on a holiday like this?

Our crafty friend Laurie submitted this little excerpt for today's posting, and I think it sums up quite well how we think of pencil day here at craft central!






Sunday, March 28, 2010

Circle Journal & Swapper Check-In

Hello Crazy Crafters! Just before our blog went live, our group decided to do a journal swap (For the Curious) . And while I don't want anyone to feel left out because they didn't get signed up in time, I also want to encourage the ladies in the swap to share their work with you here.

We all need feedback and especially praise ;) So even though the swap doesn't apply to all our members I will be sharing the swap with all of you via the blog.

For those that haven't heard of Circle Journals ... and don't feel bad because we only just recently heard of them too! Anyhow, circle journals are like altered books or scrapbooks. The group will swap books with each other, every swapper creating a page in some one else's book. So when the swap ends everyone will have a book with beautiful artwork from the rest of the group.

There is some structure to the swap. Each Crafter can dictate some rules of engagement for working in their book, and to keep us on track every book will have a theme and some design specifications.

Our swap decided to give each crafter a month to create a two page spread in each of the books. At the end of each month we'll swap books until we've made a complete circle with the books.

So far our CJ (Circle Journal) swappers should have their books nearly ready for swapping. During the first month of the swap each participant was asked to do the following:

1) Pick a book. It can be any size, it doesn't have to be a traditional journal or even a traditional album! The majority of us in the swap chose to go the Chipboard album route.

2) Choose a Theme! Each swapper chose a theme for their journal. This theme dictates what the book is about as well as how each swapper will create their spread in your book. There are millions of varieties of themes, you can be as specific or as vague as you like. Here's a great list of themes we found when researching theme ideas: Link to Themes

3) Set Some Rules! It's your book and you know what you want, so let us know what you want! Without being too over controlling give your book some rules or design specifications. Tell us what colors you'd like us to use, how much glitz you expect, how you'd like to see crafter's interpret your theme, etc. But, please keep it simple but to the point, don't want to bog the swapper's done with too much fine print ;)

4) Design Some Pages! Decorate your cover(s) and do a spread with the rules of your book or an introduction. Create a page for all the artists to "sign-in". It can be as simple as tags for the artists to just sign, or little cards with pictures and biographies. Be as creative as you want with this! Remember that you are setting the feel for how you want your book designed. And lastly create the very first spread of your book, following your own rules & theme.

5) Start Swapping! Each of our swappers have been given a list of names. At the end of the month the book will pass to the next name on the list. Each swap the crafters have one month to create a spread (aka 2 page layout) in the book in their possession.

I hope you few (but we're very thankful!) readers will enjoy seeing some of the journey and behind the scenes chatter as we strive to finish our first ever swap! And if all goes well you'll maybe even join us in our next swap!

So with all that out of the way .... Where do we stand swappers? Everyone feel pretty confident about our April 1st swap date? I know I have yet to hand out the swap list, but other than that does anyone feel like maybe they need more time before we swap? We can delay the start date by up to a week to give you more time if you need it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekly Check In : Week 4 of March

So what have you crazy beautiful ladies been up to this week?

Here's what we've been up to:

Deb is so excited, she mailed off her entries for the Paper Crafts Magazine "Stamping Royalty" contest on Tuesday! She also sent a card to the Taylored Expressions Dragonfly Card Project, and feels really good that one of her creations will be given to a family for whom it might offer some healing.

If you haven't visited Deb's blog, stop by and check out the fun things she has been working on for World Folk Tale and Fable Week!


Ash has been experimenting with some fun projects for her circle journal- let's see if we can talk her into blogging about it!

What about you?  Use the linky below to share with us what you've done this week, or leave us a comment.

What Do YOU Want?

We're here to help motivate YOU ... so we'd like to know what would you like to see more of. We're always open for suggestion. So leave us a comment or ten ;)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekly Check In : Week 3 of March

So what have you crazy beautiful ladies been up to this week?

Here's what we've been up to:
 Boho Rose here this week. I forgot to update this before it auto-posted, so a little late but here nonetheless :D

Well this week was extra busy for me. While I didn't get to make any new projects, I was able to make a dent in one of my long term existing projects. I was asked by a dear friend to create her wedding invitations.

The supplies arrived last week and I've been producing all the parts so that in 2 weeks they can be assembled and mailed out. 100 invitations, about 15 pieces per invite. 3 die-cuts per invitation, 3 scores and lots of gluing! But so far I've got about 1/4 of the scoring & die-cutting done. Slow but steady wins the race right?

Here's the outside of the invitation when it's all assembled.


So what have you beautiful crafters been up to this week? Use the linky below to share with us what you've done this week. Or just leave us a comment .... pretty please!! :) We love getting comments!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting Back on the Horse & Setting Personal Deadlines

The biggest reason this blog was conceptualized and put into action was to create a community of crafters, who like us have problems staying motivated and keeping inspired and creating. Creating for me gives me a sense of personal fulfillment. It is the light at the end of my dreary day. Creating makes me a better person and therefore I am committed to continue creating.

This past week unfolded into a mess of chaos, drama and family obligations. In the midst of all that I didn't have enough time or energy to devote to creating as I would have liked. I missed a few personal goals, I even missed a few blog posts. In a way I feel I let myself down and let my readers down too ... the 3 of you that actually read ;) hehe ....

I spent my morning & afternoon sleeping the stress of last week away. Unlike most people Monday is my version of Sunday. I look forward to Monday mornings because the kids go to school & I have time for myself with no pending stress of work or obligations. When I finally woke I actually cleaned the house (which is like "hell froze over" kind of thing for me!). While cleaning I was trying to come up with ideas for this blog post. However, all I could think about was how bad I felt for missing deadlines & not being creative enough last week. I first lectured myself and then began to give myself a pep talk.

It dawned on me ... what better post to bring you this week than my own self-pep-talk. Plus I have nothing else to write about since I spent a lot of time lecturing myself!

Getting Back on the Horse

We all stumble. We have the best intentions and then get swept up in the whirl of life. Before we know it a few days have passed, a week has passed or even more. And all those things we'd planned to do for ourselves to give us a sense of purpose and fulfillment, all the things we wanted to do to enrich our lives .... we've forgotten about.

What's important though isn't that you keep at it all the time, never faltering ever persistent. What's important is that when you do have that moment when you feel like you've fallen then make the point to get back on the horse. Just like everything else in life sometimes we need a break even from the things we love the most. Sometimes that break is a conscious thing, but more often than not it's life throwing us curve balls.

So when you feel like you've fallen behind make a point to start again.

And how do we start again?

By Setting Personal Deadlines

I'm a go with the flow kind of gal. I don't live by routines or schedules. I'm like water. The problem with being like water is that I often overflow the banks of my river. I overbook myself, over extend myself, and wind up with too little time for myself.

The thing I've found that helps keep me focused is setting personal deadlines. Little goals that I can easily reach. My goals include things like: make 1 blog post a week, finish 1 large scale project a month, finish the swaps I signed up for, and do at least 1 crafty thing a week.

Your goals can be as simple as being creative once a week. This doesn't mean you have to do a project once a week, it doesn't even mean you have to create anything. Just make a concious effort to be creative. This can be as easy as designing your circle journal in your head (hint, hint!), it can be thinking about using challenge colors in a drawing, or even day dreaming about the paint colors in your house!

Set some easily attainable short terms goals for your crafty selves and see how great it feels to meet them!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekly Check In : Week 2 of March

Time for the weekly check in, and to announce the winner from the "Think, Plan, Do" blog candy drawing!

And the winner is (drumroll, please):

June!

Junedeer said...

I like to put on some good tunes that move me! Today while I was painting I listened to the Animatrix soundtrack and burned some patchouli leaves. I also clean up so I don't get space issues going on. I get what I need for the particular medium I'm working with, and then I jump in feet first and see where the colors take me. That is for my painting at least. I have never paper crafted so I'm trying to finish collecting a few things I need before I start. Rose will be helping me in that department tomorrow! :)


We will contact you with more information shortly.  Congratulations, and we hope to see what you create with your new bling!

And thank you to everyone else who participated!  It was a lot of fun to see the different ways people get ready to create!


Don't forget to submit your projects for this month's challenges for more chances to win!
    


So what have you crazy beautiful ladies been up to this week?

Here's what we've been up to:

Boho Rose: I seem to have had a creative-block kind of week. I did some freelance design this week. Other than that, I did do some planning for my circle journal and for a stamping demonstration. We did a card & an altered journal for the demonstration.


Crafty Saffy has been working hard on her Circle Journal*, a project the club decided to start last month.  She is very excited about her pages so far and is looking forward to seeing what everyone else does!


*To learn about Circle Journals, please visit the following sites:


Now it is your turn!  Do you have some exciting project you are dying to share?  Need ideas on what direction to take it?  Use the linky below to share with us what you're working on this week!



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Think, Plan, Do

Let's face it- you can't just craft anywhere.  If you sat down at Wendy's and pulled out your paper trimmer, scissors, glue runner, paper, and embellishments, you would not only get some odd looks from the other patrons, but probably get "the boot" from the establishment.

But more important than the astonished stares from those around you, and the question of cleanliness of the work surface, is the general atmosphere: does it inspire you to create?

In her post about Creating InspirationBoho Rose invited us into her spiritual preparations to summon the muses to her crafts; a relaxing bath, aromatherapy and music to set the tone.  While I don't go through such a thorough ritual, I do have my own technique of preparing to craft.

I follow a "think, plan, do" methodology that my Color Theory professor prescribed in college.  From a cleanup of the crafting area, to selecting supplies for the next project, down to the cutting and pasting of the project itself, this method clears my head and lets the creativity flow!

Think

While I clean up and organize my craft area from whatever project I have left out, I also clean out my thoughts of anything non-craft related.  I let go of the day, work, my to-do list, bills, and anything else that can block my creativity.  I start to think about the project at hand.  Am I using a sketch or design scheme?  Do I have an event coming up that I need a card for?  Did I come across an adorable photo of my niece that needs to be scrapped?  I determine the project and think about the basics to get started.

Plan

Once my space (and head) is cleared, I can start planning my project.  I will look at the sketch or photo, and go through my supplies looking for ideal colors or patterns that will speak what I want my project to say.  If I am making something for a friend, I will focus on their taste and personality, and find suitable papers and embellishments.  Do they like bold colors and patterns?  Do their tastes run toward more simple designs?  And of course, do I have any new stamps or embellishments I really want to try?

Do

Once I have supplies gathered I am ready to start experimenting and piecing together my project.  While it does not always come out as I envision it, this method keeps me focused and able to come up with fantastic cards and scrapbook pages I can be very proud of.

~ Crafty Saffy


So now it is your turn!  What rituals do you go through to get ready to craft?  Or do you just jump in, feet first and see what happens?  Do you keep your craft area clean and ready for the muses to drop in?  Do you have to listen to music?

For every 25 comments left here, I will give away one of the fishing tackle boxes full of fun bling and brads (that's right, I found more!) Only 1 entry per person, please.  You have until Friday, March 12 at 5 PM (Mountain Time) to submit your comments, then I will randomly select the winners and post them in Saturday's Check-in.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Weekly Check In : Week 1 of March

Hey all!
Crafty Saffy here, for this week's check-in!  Just wanting to share what I've been working on and see what you all have been up to!

I had a brilliant idea last week!  I have been looking all over for just the right way to store my embellishments, and finally I scored the perfect solutions.  As it ties in with Boho Rose's post about setting up a craft space, I wanted to share it with you!

I was wandering around my local Kmart, thinking craft/storage thoughts, and I looked up to realize I was on the fishing/tackle aisle.  Those little clearance tags just seem to jump out at me (I love a deal!) and I found some little round plastic storage containers with several individual compartments.  It is perfect for my variety of brads and faceted beads!

I was so excited, I bought the last 2 they had!  It keeps my different embellishments separate, and the compartments are easy to poke a finger in to get one out, or I can shake out a bunch at a time, without getting a handful of all different ones!

My luck continued as I wandered a few aisles over.  I have many fun and unique embellishments, but most are bigger than will fit in the little tackle box.  I wanted something with individual containers that I could pull to my project area one at a time, but some way to keep it secure with the rest of the embellishments.  On the kitchen accessories aisle I realized that their spice rack was just what I had been looking for!

Reasonably priced, I got 12 glass containers with plastic lids (the shaker tops just pop off) and a complete unit to store it all together.  It is just a bonus that the unit is black metal in a floral motif, which goes with a lot of my things!  It can sit on a counter or shelf, or I can put a screw in the wall to hold it out of the way, in case I run out of horizontal surfaces!



What unique storage do you use for your embellishments?  Leave us a comment to share your brilliant ideas!














We also want to know what projects you have been working on this week- upload them with the linky below to share!






Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creating Inspiration

Often I find I feel the urge to create but I’m not sure what to do or what to make. I feel motivated but uninspired. Over time I’ve learned a few tricks on inspiring myself. Hopefully my experiences can help you develop your own tricks to inspire yourself.

Before I can begin to create I must be in the right frame of mind. For me creating is a nearly spiritual experience. In order for my creativity to flow I must first break down the dam. I have to purge the day from my mind, get relaxed and get in the mood.

I like to take long hot baths to relax my body and melt away stress. I like the start setting the mood with candles, incense and music. When I’m preparing to be inspired I like to play ethereal music like Enya, Dead Can Dance, or even Enigma. I even have a few of the “mood” CD’s from the kiosks in stores, you know the ones where you can sample the music by pressing a button on the display. The important thing is that the music is something that can take you away … combined with some Calgon! I like this type of music because my mind can wander, it facilitates daydreaming and thereby aids in the creation and inspiration process.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Challenges

Welcome, Crafters, to the first of hopefully many craft challenges from the Crazy Crafters Club!

Each month we will bring you 3 challenges to inspire new and exciting projects, and we want to motivate you with prize giveaways!  (Please refer to the Challenges Page for more details and to find out how to get extra entires!)  Enter as many times as you like for any of the challenges - and have fun!