Two evenings ago I screamed at a piece of card stock. Screamed. And then I cried a little, too.
But before I jump ahead of myself, let me begin at the beginning.
If you are a faithful reader of this blog, (bless your hearts and everything else about you!) then you know that I have a special little segment called Featured Fridays in which I tell you all about an inspiring blogger I've met over the Internets and now have the pleasure of calling a friend.
As I was considering a featuree for March, I saw a stunning creation and just knew that I wanted to showcase Miss (or Mrs., I guess - sorry fellas)
Laura Jane Head
I'd bumped into Laura's blog due to some awesome gallery images that I had to click through to check out, but really got to know her more after we both made the DT cut over at STAMPlorations. She's so sweet and talented AND she wears amazing hats - so yeah. It's like a perfect friendship match, right?!
Laura Jane has been married for 23 years (wowzas!!) and has 6 awesome kiddos (double wowzas!!) whom she home schools. Well, actually, two of them have graduated now (to which Laura Jane says a resounding YAY!!). Laura Jane loves art therapy and crafting is her favorite way to relieve stress.
Here's the thing about Laura's work... it is AMAZEBALLS! Seriously, the things this woman does with a couple of stamps, a layer of cardstock, and some ink leaves my jaw a-thuddin' every single time. Her creations are vibrant, clean, and have amazing depth.
Here are some of my favorite Laura Jane originals:
She's got a signature style that makes me smile every time I see what she's dreamed up.
But why let me do all the talking, here's 7 great things Laura Jane can tell you about herself:
1. How did I get my start in stamping?
Traditional school was not for me..starting in the fourth grade, cutting class so I could create things with paper/fabric paints and thread became the norm. I found that I could make up an entire week's worth of homework in a few short hours and still keep a good GPA. Art was the only class I excelled in, however, drawing frustrated me and my handwriting, (worse than any doctor's) always seemed to mar the finished product. I've always enjoyed creating handmade Thank Yous and Christmas cards. When my kiddos got old enough to help make cards I looked into making the sentiment easier.
In 2010 the Stamp maker from TC looked like just what I needed, however I could not get my printer to work with the program correctly..on to plan B..Ready-made stamps:))) and then the clear stamps... Best find EVER!!! And then I found all the video tutorials sharing how to use stamps with techniques other than the usual ink pad and stamp. YAY!!
2. Who/what is my biggest crafty inspiration?
The desire to grow my personal relationship with Jesus and think on pure, lovely things and pass that on to others is my drive. My love of Flowers, Technique videos, Pinterest and Fabric designs are my biggest inspiration starting points.
3. If I were to be any crafting product, it would be....
A blank piece of paper. The possibilities are endless in the hands of my Creator!
4. You'd never guess it, but my biggest crafty secret is ____!
REALIZING that something perfect is not going to come from me, but gives a certain freedom to get messy and take chances. I am mortally flawed from the beginning of my existence. Anything Beautiful and GOOD comes from my Heavenly Father, which also includes my art.
I'm not afraid of making a mess if I'm keeping my eyes on Him. He creates the Masterpieces through me.
5. What are some of my favorite challenge blogs to play along in?
- Virginia's View...I love how her family gets involved in the Spotlight feature:)
- STAMPlorations Challenges....The owner, Shery, really encourages that experimental element in creating!
- The Card Concept.....Where I've learned what the different card making styles are.
- PTI Make It Monday...Good place to learn the latest techniques.
- Waffle Flower Challenge...I just like their simple designs.
6. How many stamp sets do I have that I've never used before?
This is embarrassing to say...more than 50...I just got a haul of new Stencils too :/
7. My biggest advice for new bloggers/stampers would be _______________.
Don't get caught up in the need for affirmations left in comments. He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli is a good reminder for me.
Choosing a card to CASE from Laura Jane's stash was not easy!! There were so many beauties that I had to stare at them for awhile before I could decide.
Ultimately I wound up going with a card that I knew would require a lot of work - I just didn't realize how MUCH work because I'd never tried to masking before, really. But I fell in love with the depth that was on one tiny layer of cardstock and I was determined to take the plunge.
Laura Jane's CASE:
I can't believe that I could love any card as much as the original, but Laura Jane outdid herself with this springy creation here! It's an entire bouquet of gorgeousness!!
I stuck pretty darn close to the original. I loved the mandala-esque flowers. Now. Back to the screaming bit. Let me just explain to you that masking is HARD! Firstly, you have to make sure that every image stamps correctly the first time or throw away the paper. Even if you stamp 3 images right and then the 4th one is slightly off throw away the paper or if you smudge the ink while you're trying to hold down the mask throw away the paper. And then you finally do get it all placed exactly right without smudging and you stare at it for a second and gulp because you're now too terrified to make a mistake whilst coloring!!
Haha - I went through two-and-a-half hours and five sheets panels of cardstock before I was satisfied. :)
I'm going to send my card on over to the following challenges:
But Laura Jane also kindly sent over some of her masking tips and I thought I'd share them with you (in case you haven't masked before either):
- Stamp on Post-it notes that are FULL ADHESIVE for the masks. Then save then for future use:)
- Add grey to shadow the images...it hides a TON of "outside the lines."
- Blenders also can do wonders for creating cool effects like that around the inside of the heart.
- Start with a natural fiber cardstock like PTI Rustic Cream...again it hides a lot due to the varying flecks of color.
- I like to use many different mediums to color with, layering them to make it look "like I meant to do that" :)
So there you have it, this has been another episode of Featured Friday, brought to you by the letter M.