Sunday Interview #4 (a day late)

I apologize for neglecting to post this yesterday. It was all ready to just hit the button, but with everything else going on, I completely forgot. (Sorry, C.B!) Anyway, here is my interview with a fascinating blogger:

Today, I’d like to introduce you all to C.B. Wentworth. You may have seen her name on some of my award posts. I have nominated her for many awards (and I’m not the only one) because she has a beautiful blog and shares her creativity in many ways – through her literary work & poetry, her photography where she gives us a glimpse of her garden & places she has been, as well as her lovely ‘Wreck This Journal’ entries.

Hi, C.B.! Welcome to my blog! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer, artist, crafter, and optimist.  During the day I am a high school teacher, but after the bell rings I immerse myself in creative pursuits.  In particular, I focus my energies on writing novels, short stories, and poetry.

How long have you been blogging?

A little over a year.

What inspired you to start blogging?

When I finished the final draft of my first novel, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands.  The need to write and create was still there despite the completion of my project.  I figured keeping a blog would give me the outlet I needed to express and challenge myself as a writer.

How has your blog evolved from when you first started?

At first, I focused on writing more than anything else, but as time went by I decided not to limit myself.  Writing and creativity go together, so it made sense to let my blog grow to include everything I do to inspire my muse.

Do you have any tips for newbies who want to grow their readership?

Write with a voice that is entirely your own.  I’ve found that the best way to attract readers is to offer a point of view that can’t be found anywhere else.

In addition, find blogs that inspire you and interact with them.  It is so important to surround yourself with a community of writers, readers, and sources of inspiration. Be part of the community with thoughtful comments and visit other blogs often.

I love your artwork whenever you post a Wreck This Journal page. For those people who are unfamiliar with this, please take a moment to explain exactly what ‘Wreck This Journal’ is.

Wreck This Journal

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith is a journal full of prompts that inspire reckless creativity.  It’s all about letting go and doing things without hesitation.  We’re all inhibited by our inner critics, conscious filters, and fear of imperfection.  Wreck This Journal effectively inspires you to blast through all of those barriers and explore the true depth of your creativity.

The photographs you’ve posted on your blog are beautiful. For any aspiring photographers who may read this, what’s your secret to capturing the perfect image?

Thank you for the kind words regarding my photographs.  I’ll never get over the fact that people enjoy looking at the pictures I take!

The best piece of advice I can give is don’t try to take the perfect shot.  Simply let go and point the camera at what captures your imagination.  Point of view is what makes a photograph beautiful.

Take more than one shot.  For every image I’ve posted, there are at least 15 more of the same thing where I try different settings or a different angle.  Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t.

In addition to everything else you do, you’ve mentioned you are also a writer. In which genres do you prefer to write?

I try not box myself into a specific genre, but I tend to wander into literary and mainstream fiction, while dabbling in fantasy and poetry.

Please tell us a little bit about your process.

I wish I had a definitive process, other than making sure I write every day.  I’m a big fan of free-writing and brainstorming, which means I have notebooks full of partial stories, phrases, and lists.  Whenever, I need a dash of inspiration I’ll page through my journals.

When I’m working on a larger project like a novel, I always keep a spiral where I map out character profiles, scenes, and timelines.  I’m a very visual person, so I make collages for each of my characters that include wardrobe, possessions, and elements of their environment.  I blogged about this process on a post entitled, The Notebook That Built My Novel.

Music also plays a big role in anything I write.  My iPod is full of playlists that serve as soundtracks for my novels, short stories, and even blog posts.   This process is outlined in a couple of posts I wrote: How Music Helped Me Write A Novel and Music for a New Novel.

Part of the reason my blogs includes so many posts about art, crafts, and photography has to do with my belief that all forms of creativity are connected.  I consider all of my non-writing projects to be essential components to my writing process because engaging in multiple creative pursuits keeps me inspired and fuels my imagination. When I sit down to write, I am always stimulated and ready to explore all possibilities.

I agree that all forms of art is linked to creativity in some way.

Do you use critique partners or beta readers to help perfect your writing?

Yes!  I’m a big believer in both.  Critiques in particular are incredibly valuable as they help me see the work in a way I hadn’t considered before.  I learned this lesson while participating on Critique Circle.  This is a fantastic writing community that offers a safe environment to learn the art of giving and receiving critiques.

Constructive criticism can push creativity in unexpected ways and it always helps me find a better path for the story or character I’m working on.  If we stay bottled up inside of our own heads, we fail to see other possibilities.  Granted, no one likes to hear something about a story isn’t working, but I thrive on the challenge of figuring out how to solve the problem.

If my readers want to follow your blog, they can find it here. As well, each of the blog posts you’ve mentioned are already linked, so they can just click on them. Are there any other ways readers can reach you?

Facebook: C.B. Wentworth
Twitter: @cbwentworth
Pinterest: cbwentworth

On my blog, I have follow buttons for all social networks along my sidebar.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, C. B. I enjoyed chatting with you, today! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

I have another couple of cards to share, but I will be brief today as I have to rush off to work later. Both are birthday cards, one for a young lady who loves to read fantasy, the other was for my grandson.

For the fantasy reader, I used a part of a large note pad I had that measures about a foot and a half (see picture at top of page) with a rainbow, clouds and unicorns. You may recall from a previous Crafty Wednesday that I used the rainbow half and one of the unicorns for a wedding card. This time I used the other half with just the unicorns. I glued this to a base of blue card stock and ran a string of satin hearts across the top. The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up‘s Word Play set.

 

 

Inside, I had some 8 1/2″ x11″ fancy ‘clouds’ printer paper, from which I cut a 3″ square and glued it down with a glue runner before applying the sentiment, which is also from Stampin’ Up. The eagle is from Close To My Heart‘s Pure Adventure stamp set and the pen is from SU‘s Rue des Fleurs set. All the elements were first stamped using a Versa Mark sticky pad and black heat-embossing powder, then attached with 3-D squares.

 

 

For Grandson’s card, I fell back to the Recollections Zoo set I originally bought to use for his shower invitations. One of the pet names I used with my kids was ‘monkey’ so when I saw this cute little guy, I had to buy the set. (I also wrapped his presents in paper with animals on it, including a monkey, so thought this would go with the ‘theme’). I stamped him with brown ink on white card stock and carefully cut him out with my small sharp scissors. I used a brown cream chalk and a Q-tip to give him a bit of colour.

 

I used white cardstock (8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ folded in half) as the base. I cut a piece of blue paper that measured 5″ x 3 3/4″. The polka dot paper measured 4″x 3″ (I think) and used a glue runner to hold it in place on the blue piece. I wrapped a piece of green velour ribbon around the blue paper attaching it to the back with Sookwang (it has a very strong adhesive) two-sided tape and used this tape around all the back edges to hold it firmly in place on the white card stock.

Inside, I stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ (I think it was a bargain stamp from Michael’s) onto a 3″ square of polka dot paper, using Versa Mark and black embossing powder. I also stamped the vine (from the Zoo set I mentioned earlier) using green ink then used a Versa Mark sticky pen to fill in the outline and embossed it with green embossing powder mixed with green glitter.  I used a glue runner to attach the polka dot paper to the card beside the vine. I printed the sentiments onto white card stock, which I trimmed to size and used SU’s ticket corner punch on the corners. The sentiments were attached with 3-D squares.

That’s it for another week. I think next week I’ll share some of the pages I created for my Dad’s Memory Book about my Mom. Until then, happy crafting, everyone! 🙂

Just in time for Father’s Day

Someone made a comment on my last Crafty Wednesday post wondering if I was going to make a Father’s Day card, so I sat down and made this one for my son to give to his Dad. I used the motorcycle, flame and the ‘Feel The Wind’ stamp from Close To My Heart‘s Born To Ride set. The letters for ‘DAD!’ are from the CTMH Hero Alphabet stamp set. The ‘Incredible’ sentiment and frame on the inside of the card were from the CTMH Pure Adventure set. The ‘Happy Father’s Day’ was from the Stampin’ Up set Plane Simple.

For all the stamped elements, I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and heat-emboss powders. The ‘DAD!’, ‘Happy Father’s Day’ and motorcycle were embossed in black. For the flames, ‘Incredible’ and ‘Feel The Wind’ I used copper embossing powder. Using my Cuttlebug, I cut/embossed an orange ‘Fanciful Label’ with a folder by Provo Craft. I brushed a non-heat gold embossing powder over the label to make it shiny.

The base of the card is half of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ white card stock, folded in half, making the final card dimensions 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″. The brown paper on the front of the card measures 5 1/4″ x 3″. The polka dot paper is 5 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ and tucks under the brown, slightly. The paper was fastened to the card base with double-sided sticky tape. The flames were attached with a glue runner. The motorcycle and letters were attached with 3-D squares.

Inside, I glued a brown square, 3″ x 3″, to the centre of a strip of polka dot paper measuring 3″ x 5 1/4″. ‘Incredible’ and ‘Feel The Wind’ were glued to brown paper and trimmed to add contrast to the orange paper. The ‘Happy Father’s Day’ was attached with Sticky Dots. The orange label and sentiments were attached to the card with 3-D squares.

Well, the instructions weren’t step-by-step today, but I hope you got the idea. If you want to used this as a model for a card for a dad in your life, go for it! Make changes, add your own embellishments, if you like. I’m sure the dad you give it to will love it and appreciate that fact that it is home-made by you! 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, grandfathers and great-grandfathers! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

I’ve made a few more cards for various events. I made a get well card for a young lady who broke her leg, one for a woman who just finished her university courses, and another for a wedding. All of these cards were made using a half sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock for the base, making the size of the cards 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.

This is the first get-well card I’ve done. I don’t have a lot of stamps for that kind of card, but I just picked up a magazine (Simple Cards & Paper crafts) which included a cute rabbit stamp set and specialty papers. I liked the polka dot paper and the flowered paper, which were from the magazine. I attached peach-coloured ribbon to one side of the polka dot paper and used a glue runner to attach the paper to the pink card stock base. I used my 3 1/2″ scalloped circle punch to make the centre accent. The flower petals were from a box of wedding flowers I bought on sale. I placed the pale green on the bottom, then layered the yellow, peach and pink petals, securing them with a yellow brad through the centre and through the scalloped circle before gluing it onto the card. I used my 1 1/2″ scalloped oval punch to cut out the shape. I sponged the edges with Cherry Red ink. I heat-embossed the ‘for you’ greeting and attached it with a large pop-up square. Although the stamp set was garden-themed, the one rabbit was so cute I thought he would cheer up the patient. I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and black heat-emboss powder so the outline would stand out, then filled it in with my shiny paints. He was attached with pop-up squares.

Both the canvass-look paper and the plaid were also from the magazine. (I love getting free stuff like this!) The ‘Consider Yourself Hugged’ stamp is from a Close To My Heart set called Thoughtful Tidings and attached with a pop-up square. The magazine’s flower stamp and cherry red ink added a cheerful touch to the inside.

Here is the grad card. I started with purple card stock, embossed it using the Cuttlebug Polka Dot embossing folder. I then added some grad-themed paper that came from a Scrapbookers Calendar that my sister-in-law gave me a few years ago. I picked up the grad stamp from a bargain bin at Michael’s and the satin star ribbon came from a special deal at one of the craft weekends I went to in the past year.

I typed up the sentiment using MS Word. I used the 3 1/2″ scalloped circle punch to cut out the sentiment. I also used it for the background scallop, which I cut in half and taped it to the back. I used one of the stars from the satin ribbon strip for the top and there you have it!

For this wedding card, I started with a light blue card stock. The background paper is part of a lo-o-o-ong sheet of specialty note paper that contains a full rainbow, clouds and four unicorns. I cut off the other three unicorns and part of the rainbow so it measures 4″ x 5″ (approximately) and used a glue runner to attach it to the base. I typed out the sentiment and cut it out using a 2″ circle punch. The wedding couple is from an old Stampin’ Up wedding stamp set. I used my Versa Mark and black embossing powder, heated it up and cut around the image.

I cut another strip of the rainbow for the inside. I typed and printed the sentiment onto white card stock, then cut it out in a cloud pattern. I finished it off by using a silver marker to outline the edges and glued down both the rainbow strip and the sentiment.

Well, that about covers it for today.

So, what did YOU do on this ‘Hump Day’?

The long-awaited scrapbook pages

Here, the hidden pictures are revealed. Each photo is a 2 1/2Here, the hidden pictures are revealed. Each photo is a 2 1/2It was a rush to get this done this morning before heading out to work, so please bear with me! For the last class, we were required to bring pictures, because we couldn’t completely build the pullout section without them. I chose pictures from a weekend three years ago when friends joined us at the cottage. I thought it would be fun to look back on them and use them in an album reserved for cottage memories. We used the Close To My Heart‘s Workshop on the Go entitled Victory. Here’s the two-page layout that our demonstrator designed for us:

Do you see how the photo strip continues from page one to page 2? Only the left-hand side pulls out, though.

In this close-up of the first page, you will notice the pullout strip at the bottom. The instructions for this can be found in the Magic book. Look for ‘Hocus Pocus’. It is basically a three-part process with a bottom strip containing one fixed picture beneath the last picture. The middle strip contains 4 photos with the third one covered until you pull out the strip. Over both the middle and bottom strips is a strip of thick clear plastic (cut from either a sheet protector, a heavy Ziploc bag or a transparency) The top strip of card stock has had three ‘windows’ cut out of it to reveal the pictures on the middle strip. The plastic strips help the middle strip move in and out easily.

Here, the pullout is in the open position. Each photo used in it is 2-1/4 inches square. The top section shows a 5×7″ photo on a brown background (10-3/4 x 8-1/4″) placed on an angle. The Upper Case letters were stamped with the CTMH Varsity Letter set. The smaller letters were from a Recollections set. In the upper right-hand corner, I stamped “Adventure is a state of mind” from the Pure Adventure set. The “best of times” phrase is from the stamp set, which was included with the Workshop kit. The metallic stick-on square also came with the kit.

The second page includes the journaling – the details of the ‘adventure’ being portrayed by the pictures. Again, the square stick-ons were added to each strip of journaling. Both of the large photos are 5 x 7″. The small one on the blue strip is 2 x 2″. The background paper was cut 4-1/2″ from the bottom and flipped around (it’s two-sided printed paper) to create a layered look without the bulk of two different papers. The blue strip is stuck over the two pieces, holding them together. The back can now be used for more pictures.

 

Hope you found this worth the wait! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

While Hubby & Son were helping Brother and Nephew put up drywall on Saturday, Sister-in-law & I made a few cards. I was anxious to try out a couple of new stamp sets from Stampin’ Up, ‘Rue des Fleurs’ and ‘You’re My Type’. Since I like vintage things, these two sets were right up my alley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two cards I made with the ‘You’re My Type’ set which is basically just the typewriter with sayings that will fit onto the paper. For the green one, I used the polka dot embossing folder on the Cuttlebug. To that I added a 3″ wide piece of yellow plaid paper and a 1″ strip of peacock feather-patterned paper. For the blue card, I used a vine-patterned Cuttlebug embossing folder. The yellow strip is only 2 1/2″ wide. The blue pattern is stamped with one of the stamps from the ‘Rue des Fleurs’ set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the ‘Rue des Fleurs’ set there were other pretty stamps like the flower-filled corset, a parasol with clocks hanging from it and a fountain pen with flourishes flowing from its nib. You can see them in the two cards above. The scrolled ‘Thanks’ is also part of the set. On the orange card, I stamped ‘Time to’ from a set called ‘Get It In Gear’ and haven’t yet decided whether it will be turned into a birthday card or a shower invitation.

Since my brother’s anniversary is coming up, I secretly made this card for them. The horn was also from the ‘Rue des Fleurs’ set as well as the 3 patterned pieces in the centre, which I cut out separately. I tried to use two different coloured inks when stamping the horn so that it was brown and the flourishes were green, but it didn’t show up too well. I used an edging embossing folder (and the Cuttlebug) to create the impressions on the top and bottom of the card. The hearts are from another new Stampin’ Up set called ‘Sprinkled Expressions’. It comes with the heart stamp, a flower and a star with sentiments that go along with each one. I used one of my sister-in-law’s stamps for the ‘happy together’. Again, I cut a 1″ strip of peacock feather paper from the Recollections Peacock paper pack. I love that pack, as it has so many beautiful paper patterns, some with glitter.

What are some of the hobbies that YOU like to indulge in whenever you get the chance?

Belated Crafty Wednesday

Or in other words, Crafty Thursday! Well, I have a few more cards to share with you.

The first was made with the the new Tim Holtz die cutter I got for my birthday – Bird & Birdcage. I used gold glitter card stock for the cage, to which I added gold ribbon, and I added feathers to the bird. For the background, I embossed it with the Swirls embossing folder and my Cuttlebug. Inside, I used a piece of sheet music and curved the corners with a punch. The stamped bird is from Stampin’ Up‘s Confucius stamp set. I believe the Happy Birthday is Stampin’ Up as well from a sentiments set I got a long time ago. I like the swirly look to it and use it a lot for birthday cards.

The next card was for my niece’s wedding. She really likes Betty Boop so used the black & white theme with red accents. That’s why I chose the red background. I stitched across the top with pink embroidery cotton. The stamp is a discontinued wedding flourish that I first stamped with Versa Mark (sticky pad) and added black embossing powder. Add a little heat and the powder forms a shiny raised impression, to which I added black ‘jewels’. The ‘love’ is also made with black embossing powder on pink card stock.

 

The inside contains a sentiment that I created with MS Word. I added black, heart-shaped jewels to the sentiment. The hearts were black-embossed on pink card stock. They are from Close To My Heart’s ‘Love Life’ clear stamp set.

 

 

 

 

For our ‘Sweet Sixteen’ nephew, I created this card using a background from a calendar my brother’s wife gave me a few years ago. It was a ‘Scrap Booker’s’ calendar that contained 365 pages of elements you could use for making cards or scrapbook pages for all occasions. The page I used had masculine colours and the swirl looked like a six, which seemed appropriate for the occasion. The ’16!’ was embossed with blue embossing powder. The stamps are from CTMH’s ‘Varsity Alphabet’ set. The base paper that I used was a crackled-look paper from a set I got years ago – so long ago I can’t remember the name of it! I found some pearlized buttons to put on the black-net ribbon.

 

 

 

On the inside, I used the left-over piece from the calendar page and embossed the ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ (from SU’s ‘Word Play stamp set) and the ‘Happy Birthday’ in blue. The Happy Birthday I punched out using a 2 inch circle punch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girl who got married (above) was also celebrating her birthday at the Easter gathering, so this is the card I made for her using the same red/white/black colour scheme. The background was embossed using the Cuttlebug and the ‘Victoria’ embossing folder. This has to be one of my favourite patterns for the Cuttlebug. I used a 3 1/2 inch scalloped circle punch, I cut out the base for the CTMH bird from the ‘Find Your Style’ set. The silver ‘feathers’ are rub-on transfers from one of American Crafts ‘miniMARKS’ transfer packs that we got as one of the specials offered by the owner of The Scrapbook Cottage during our scrapbook weekend in March. The ‘soar’ is also part of CTMHs ‘Find Your Style’ set cut out with a 1-1/2 inch scalloped oval punch. The final embellishment is the black and white polka-dot bow.

On the inside, I added a feather, then put on the black-embossed ‘Happy Birthday’ sentiment, cut out using SU’s 2-3/8 inch scalloped circle punch. The sentiment ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams’ was stamped with black embossing powder and painstakingly cut out using a sharp pair of pointy scissors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final card for this week was fun to make, especially when I made one  for each of our grand nephews born on the same day! The background is a wallpaper sample from which I cut a few matching leaves to cover the giraffe and the ‘photo hunter’ using ‘pop-up’ sticky strips. The giraffe is from the ‘ZOO’ Recollections stamp set that I stamped on a beige patterned paper. The ‘hunter’ is from my Publisher’s Gold clip art disc. It is normally a black and white image, but I used coloured pencils to brighten him up a little. Inside is more wallpaper in a kind-of African pattern. I printed the sentiment from the computer. It was stamped with a bargain-bin ‘Happy Birthday’.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment, even if it was a day late! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

I apologize for being so late in posting today. The time sort of got away on me when I suddenly remembered I hadn’t taken pictures of my cards. I then had to photoshop them so they were digitally small enough to upload here. Now, without further ado, I will show you what’s been keeping me busy the last couple of days. I won’t bother with the commentary. If anyone is interested in the stamp sets I used or how I made any one of the cards in particular, I will be happy to share the details upon request. 🙂

I’ll start with another child’s card.

Here are the fronts of two anniversary cards. I won’t show the insides, because that would give away who they are for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another musician’s card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A card that could be for either a man or a woman.

 

 

 

 

 

Another feminine card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for tonight. I’m off to hit the sack. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafty Wednesday

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days. I have been working on the cards I need to give out at Easter. I still have about a dozen left to make, but I thought I would share a few with you. The ones that are specifically for anniversaries, a wedding and a particular numbered birthday would be too easy to identify, so I will wait until after they have been given to show them off.

These two are obviously for young children. With kids cards, I always like to show a bit of humour as you can see (click on the images to enlarge it). For the first one, I used stamps from the Close To My Heart set, By The Sea. The turtle is from the Footloose Workshop-On-The-Go by CTMH, as is the sand dollar.

For the second, I used stickers and the little boy stamp borrowed from my sister-in-law. The background is a wallpaper sample that resembles birchbark.

This lady’s card incorporates a butterfly from Martha Stewart’s Butterfly stamp set that I stamped onto orange paper and added a bit of glitter. The striped ribbon was one of the deals I got at my autumn scrapbook weekend. The buttons were part of a bargain bag I picked up at Walmart that seemed to go with the colours of the background. Inside, I used a bargain bin stamp which I painted with glitter paint.

For this lady’s card, I stamped the roses with stamps from CTMH’s Roxie set and cut them out. The buttons were from the bargain bag. The sentiment was one I wrote out using MS Word. Inside I added a couple of paper flowers, attached with small flower brads and stamped with the Happy Birthday from a bargain set of clear acrylic stamps.

For one of the musicians in the family, I call this card Groovy! The guitar player is one of the clip art designs from my Printmaster Gold program. I added three star brads to the 2 1/2″ scalloped circle, stamped stars with a Versa stamp pad, then used silver and gold embossing powder. The musical notes and ‘groovy’ stamps are from the CTMH Melody set. The ‘Party like a rock star’ is a bargain stamp from Michael’s, as is the Happy Birthday. The keyboard is made with my Cuttlebug and the keyboard embossing folder. I used a black Sharpie to fill in the black keys.

Well, that’s it for tonight. Happy crafting everyone!