Sunday, June 16, 2019

May Update - Scrap Busting Challenge


I hope you're having fun finding a zillion ways to tackle those bags of scraps you've got stashed away. One small project each month is doable and stress-free. Don't overthink or plan elaborate items. Just create something you'd like to keep for yourself or an item you'd like to give away.

It's never too late to join the challenge. Jump in and have some fun... Have you fallen behind in submitting your challenge projects? No problem - check the challenge update here for instructions on how to catch up.

Current Challenge Standing:
Carrie - 4 of 12 - projects submitted
Kitty - 6 of 12 - projects submitted
Anne - 6 of 12 - projects submitted
Marsha - 2 of 12 - projects submitted
Wilma - 1 of 12 - project submitted
Shirlee - 1 of 12 - project submitted
Lynda (Me) - 6 of 12 - projects submitted

Here are the new MAY projects submitted by our challenge participants.




Anne's May project: "I was just playing with scraps and came up with this. I will probably make it into a beach ball in a collage by putting a button where the points meet. It's giving me inspiration for my next collage."





Kitty's May Project:
"I've been thinking about art journaling so I thought I would dress up the the little binders I use a lot. I.made slip covers for the front and back covers."

My (Lynda's) May Project: " I wanted to experiment with making Junk Journal signature starters that used both fabric and paper scraps. All I have to do now is add the number of journal pages I want in the signature before binding in the Midori style binding. I usually like 3 or 4 signatures in my journals. Using a signature starer adds more interest to each signature section. Just me creating out of the box!"


Monday, June 10, 2019

Make Altered Envelopes with Collage Sheets

You asked for it, so here is an example of how I use collage sheets to alter envelopes for journaling and scrapbooking. I will be using one of my new digital collage sheets that are now available in my Etsy shop - Icky Chic Designs. *Remember, you don't have to use each element exactly the way it's printed. I often cut elements up into specific sections when creating a collage. The point is, be creative and use your own imagination and design skills when putting your collage together.
If you like to use altered envelopes in your journaling and scrapbooking pages, it's really exciting to make them into works of art by using a simple paper collage technique. I used pages torn from some discarded magazines to create the solid colored background and then started placing my fussy-cut collage pieces on top of that. I colored the edges  of the envelope with ink. You could use crayons, paint, ink, or whatever you have on hand. 
When I got the bigger pieces the way I wanted them, I used a little glue stick, just enough to keep them from moving while I sewed them to the envelope. I like to sew them because I like the textured effect that the stitches create. However, you don't have to sew them. You can simply adhere them to the envelope with your choice of glue.
My next step is to add a little embellishment. I did this in two ways. (1) I added a floral at the top left. (2) The next thing I did was use some of the off-cuts left over from fussy cutting the collage pieces. These off-cuts often have interesting curves, shapes, and a smidgeon of color that are just perfect for adding more interest to you project or, use them to cover small problem areas. 



It's amazing how many ways you can collage the same elements, creating multiple embellishments for you journal or scrapbook pages. Be sure to visit my shop often as I'll be adding more digital collage sheets of my original handmade embellishments. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Digital Downloads Now Offered at Icky Chic Designs

Many of you who have visited my Etsy shop, have asked if I had plans of offering any of my original handmade journal and scrapbook embellishments in a digital format.

Since many of my designs are one-of-a-kind items, once they're sold, no one else can enjoy using the unique originals. For that reason, I've decided to offer some of these elements as a digital download. (Specific details)

If printed at the download size - 8.5 x 11.5 inches, the individual pieces are equal to the size of the originals. It's easy to print them on card stock then use them as pockets, tucks, and page embellishments like any other ephemera download.

Many more digital pages will be uploaded in the weeks to come, so check the shop's digital section weekly and keep up-to-date with what's new.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Easy Altered Envelopes for Junk Journals, TN Journal, and Art Journals

For those who are just getting into junk/art journaling and who don't have buckets full of all the latest gadgets and supplies, here is a simple and easy way to alter an envelope for your project. If you can tear paper and use a glue stick, you've got the skills required for this.

Gather up some old magazines, catalogs, advertisements, etc. Then look for pages that have color you like, texture, interesting elements, shapes, etc. Tear out a few of these pages.

At this point, I usually tear sections of the page that I want to keep for future use. I like sections that have solid bright colors, blended colors, textures and interesting items, and sometimes wording. Then I will collage these pieces into something new as in the photos below.


I used torn pieces with texture, solid color (bright pink) for the background. Then I fussy-cut the face, floral, leaves, and other small elements to add for interest. These are glued to the opening side of the envelope. I then chose to sew the three sides to secure the pieces and add a little trim at the same time. Sewing is optional. You can glue the trim if you'd rather. I inked the back part of the envelope to coordinate the color to the artwork on the front. Super easy and cost effective.


You can view more of my journal embellishments in my Etsy shop, Icky Chic Designs. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Do Snippets Make You Nervous?


That question may sound a little strange so let me explain. The other day I was showing a friend some snippet trim I was designing. She looked it over really good and with a furrowed brow said, "It's pretty, but it kind of makes me nervous. There doesn't seem to be any order to all those bits of whatever and the colors don't match."









Well, I just had to laugh. I couldn't help myself. It struck me how intimidating those "bits of whatever" could be to someone else. Being the  Dim-Witted creative that I am, I find chaos and disorder to be wonderful design elements. But I wasn't always that way. In the beginning, when learning arts and craft techniques, everything had to be just so, all measured and squared up!

Learning to let go and just do what felt right at the time resulted in my adventure with snippets. And also my inability to throw away the tiniest of scraps, since eventually, I had to find ways to use them.

Snippets lend themselves to several design styles like freedom, boho, shabby chic, street, grunge, and many more. I love using them when embellishing art and junk journals, scrapbook pages, planners, and even my diary.

So, even if it makes you a little nervous at first, why not try using a few snippets in your next project.

See more of my designs at Icky Chic Designs

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Three Reasons Why I Love Vintage Fabrics?

New in my Etsy Shop - 5" vintage fabric squares
Why do so many of us never lose our love of vintage fabrics? The answer would probably be a little different for each of us. So I'll just give you three of mine and you can add to the list by dropping a comment below.

First, is because they're FUN! My favorite cotton fabrics come from the decades between 1930 and 1960. So many of these designs were colorful, cheerful, and soft.

Second, is because they tell a mysterious STORY of times before our own experience or remind us of treasured times in our own past.

Third, is the ROMANTIC appeal, especially if I'm using vintage apparel in my designs. I can't help but think about the person who might have worn the item. Why did they choose it for their wardrobe? Where did they wear it? Was it a gift from someone special in their life? A ticket of imagination comes with each vintage garment I use when designing new projects.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

VIRTUAL Junk Journal Retreat - JUNE 3-16

Facebook Craft Fair - Exclusive tutorials and artist showcases.

Are you ready to learn about junk journals, see some amazing journals and art, receive exclusive printables, receive exclusive tutorials and videos, receive exclusive coupons to various shops and artists? For example; Linda Israel, Calico Collage, Heavenly Designs, thatsjustpenny, Ichy Chic Designs, Vintage Faith Journals, Dollar Digital with Marcy Coate.

Then you don't want to miss this June Retreat filled with items each day, several times a day.

Fourteen days filled with instruction videos, journal flip throughs, tutorials, and exclusive discounts and offers from a growing list of vendors.

GO HERE for more information and registration guide.
GO HERE if you're interested in signing up as a vendor

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2019 Scrap Busting Challenge. Have you joined the fun?

We're 4 months into our 2019 Challenge. How are you doing?

I hope you're having fun finding a zillion ways to tackle those bags of scraps you've got stashed away. One small project each month is doable and stress-free. Don't overthink or plan elaborate items. Just create something you'd like to keep for yourself or an item you'd like to give away.

It's never too late to join the challenge. Jump in and have some fun... Have you fallen behind in submitting your challenge projects? No problem - check the challenge update here for instructions on how to catch up.

Current Challenge Standing:
Carrie - 4 of 12 - projects submitted
Kitty - 5 of 12 - projects submitted
Anne - 5 of 12 - projects submitted
Marsha - 2 of 12 - projects submitted
Wilma - 1 of 12 - project submitted
Shirlee - 1 of 12 - project submitted
Lynda (Me) - 5 of 12 - projects submitted

Here are the new projects submitted for our challenge participants.

Anne is new to our challenge and has submitted five projects that catches her up and she is now current and on track.
Project 1: Piano keys attached to a credit card tape to keep clean and rolled up






Anne Project 2: A jeans decoration for a package decoration.








Anne Project 3: Letters of my grandsons names glued on scraps










Anne Project 4: A new pc of material made from scraps of material and ribbon that I sewed on using wash away to keep them in place. Then I will cut heart shapes or other shapes to use as applique on jeans purses or little girl's blouses.





Anne Project 5: These are page bookmarks.
You put it on the corner of the page.
The triangle can go on either the right or left corner. It's 2-1/2" sq, 1 rt side up, 1 folded








 Kitty's Project:
I've been thinking about art journaling so I thought I would dress up the the little binders I use a lot. I.made slip covers for the front and back covers.


My (Lynda's) March Project is Junk Journal and Scrapbook page embellishments. Created using fabric, trims, laces, and paper.



Sunday, May 5, 2019

Be the ONLY ONE to own one of these ONE-OF-A-KIND journal/scrapbook embellishment collections.





This month at Icky Chic Designs the focus is on soft colors and shabby chic elegance. Bringing those elements together in a fun and versatile collection of embellishments for all your journaling and scrapbooking needs is going to make May an exciting and creative month.



Soft color tones mixed with lace, custom trims, ribbons, and the perfect paper gives shabby chic its romantic appeal. It's one of my favorite styles and I never get tired of designing them.

Want your project to stand out from the crowd? Keep it original. That's hard to do when using kits and downloads that everyone else is using. Adding elements from Icky Chic Designs'  
ONE-OF-A-KIND collections will take you where you want to go.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Insight #1 for the Dim-Witted Creative - Comfortable, yet Searching

Before reading further, you might want to see if you qualify as a Dim-Witted Creative.

You'll find my discussion on that here. After making sure that you're a certifiable dimwit, return and continue the journey with Insight #1.

Dim-Witted Creatives live a double-life in a muddled world. Here's an example of our fluctuating mind-sets.
  • I'm an artist - or maybe I'm delusional
  • I'm a creative - or maybe I'm just messy
  • I'm a natural born talent - no, I'm a miserable copycat
  • I design originals - no, that can't be true because my originals are a result of fixing mistakes
  • I've mastered many techniques - but truthfully, I don't understand most of them
  • My creative space is state-of-the-art - no, it's an over-sized closet with overflowing and unorganized chaos
  • My friends and family understand and adore my quirky talent - no, they humor and tolerate my craziness 
The really wonderful thing about all this craziness is what emerges from our topsy-turvy thoughts. Isn't it a fact that sometimes you surprise yourself with an ingenious technique, new method, beautiful design, or a finished project that looks like it came from a true creative? Don't you at times stand back and just say, WOW! I can't believe I created that. Where did the idea come from? How did I know to do this or that? 

Truth is, you didn't know, not consciously anyway. But the creative spirit that permeates every bone of your body does. All it needs you to do is to just dive in, give that creative spirit, energy, muse, or whatever you want to call it, a world of its own. Let it live and breathe. Follow wherever it wants to take you. You provide the comfort and it will do the searching for you.

Friday, April 26, 2019

What's New at Icky Chic Designs? (April 2019 - Set #7) - Handmade Journal and Scrapbook Embellishments

This month at Icky Chic Designs the focus is on bits and pieces. Bringing those elements together in a fun and versatile collection of embellishments.


Layering up fabric scraps on a card stock backing makes for quirky pockets and tucks. Layered snippets make fun page clusters. And don't forget to coordinate a hidden paperclip.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Make the Switch - Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Key # 13

Stagnation is a roadblock to creativity! What kind of stagnation, you ask?

Do you have one or two creative processes that you love and always do? When is the last time you switched to something new? It doesn't have to be completely different, but different enough to utilize different skills, problem solving, tools, and materials.

When we lose our inspiration, become sluggish in our enthusiasm for a new project, and have no desire to complete projects already started, it 's a really good sign we're in stagnation mode.

I love to design and create fabric art, but sometimes, I switch to other things to give that set of skills a rest, so to speak. Depending on my circumstances, I might spend more time in my flower garden, visiting festivals and art shows, dreaming up new recipes to try on my husband, or continue working on a new book I've started writing.

Lately, due to some health issues, I've needed to find something to do that allows me to sit while
working with my fabrics, etc. So, for a while, I'll switch from my fabric art to designing scrapbook and journaling embellishments, some of which I will sell in my Etsy Shop.

Making the switch, not only accommodates my physical situation, but in a positive aspect, it serves as a refreshing break from my normal creative processes and prevents creative stagnation.

When life throws you a curve, creatively speaking, just Make-the-Switch. Find a positive spark and go with that.
_________________

Watch Over My Shoulder Series

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Are You a Dim-Witted Creative?

photo credit
Welcome! I'm so happy you've found your way to my blog. I'm Lynda, the chief dimwit, and I'm very proud to make your acquaintance.

SO, you're probably thinking that this Dim-Witted thing is not for you, after all, doesn't dimwit mean Dumb, Ignorant, or maybe, Moron! It certainly can mean those things. But it also has other meanings or characteristics and those are the ones that, as creatives, we might share. Let's explore some of them. You'll recognize them by their red color.

We'd all like to think that, like the constancy of a natural waterfall, we overflow with energy, ideas, and beauty. But truth is, at times, creatives are just plain dull. You know what I mean. Remember that day last week when all your fresh ideas took an unscheduled vacation, leaving you with nothing but an airhead.

Or maybe it was that new medication your doctor prescribed that left you lame...lame-brained, that is, just when you desperately needed to make that deadline. Tell the truth, didn't you feel like a simpleton?

What about the time your, oh so brilliant, friend asked if you'd gotten the trendy gadget that everyone was raving about and that no 'true creative' would be without? Did you feel like a nincompoop because, of course, not only do you not have one, you don't even know what it is?

And let's not forget the long anticipated workshop you attended. Did everyone else, 'get it', while you lurked in the shadow of confusion? Those are real numskull moments we'd all like to forget.

I've been there, done them all and FEEL YOUR PAIN!

In my mind there are only two things that can help us Dimwits. What are they? Inspiration and Insight. We need them both in copious quantities.

I've been collecting usable ideas for unlocking a stash of inspiration, which you can find here and here.  I'll soon be gathering insights to share with all my fellow Dimwits.  Insights are like precious 'gems' of knowledge, perceptions, judgement, awareness, and the such. Just small jewels that every creative, no matter their chosen medium, needs in their toolbox.

NOW would be a great time to subscribe to my mailing list, just in case you need occasional updates. The signup form is in the right sidebar of my blog. Don't worry, my newsletter is bi-monthly - not too many nor too few.

If you qualify as a Dim-Witted Creative, don't be shy, shout it out in the comment section. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

2019 Scrap Busting Challenge - (March) Participant Showcase

We're 3 months into our 2019 Challenge. How are you doing?

I hope you're having fun finding a zillion ways to tackle those bags of scraps you've got stashed away. One small project each month is doable and stress-free. Don't overthink or plan elaborate items. Just find something you'd like to keep for yourself or an item you'd like to give away.

It's never too late to join the challenge. Jump in and have some fun... Have you fallen behind in submitting your challenge projects? No problem - check the challenge update here.

Current Challenge Standing:
Carrie - 3 of 3 (Jan-Mar) projects submitted - Carrie is eligible for April's prize giveaway
Kitty - 3 of 3 (Jan-Mar) projects submitted - Kitty is eligible for April's prize giveaway.
Marsha - 2 of 3 (Jan-Feb) projects submitted
Wilma - 1 of 3 (Jan) project submitted
Shirlee - 1 of 3 (Jan) project submitted

Here are the new projects completed in March and submitted by a few of our challenge participants.

Carrie - A whimsical collection of wild and frenzied flora and fauna. Using only solid colours, this is a rainbow of abstract flowers, swirls of thread, button bees and a dragonfly. It includes both machine quilting and big stitch embroidery.

Carrie is on track with three projects completed for the  2019 Scrap Busting Challenge.

************************************************


Kitty - submitted her March Project:
Pull tabs on Velco strips. She uses these to contain power cords and the leaders on her Longarm.






Kitty is on track with three projects completed for the  2019 Scrap Busting Challenge.














*************************************************





My March Project is small personalized pins/brooches utilizing Key #12 of my Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Series



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Twelve Keys That Will Unlock Your Creativity - Keys 1 - 12

If you're reading this blog article, then it's a fact that you're a 'Creative' looking for inspiration. What is inspiration? The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. No one is born with an unlimited pool of ideas. Every artisan, designer, builder, crafter, etc. (Creatives) need constant food for thought and circumstances that give birth to sudden brilliant ideas.


The absolute best source for this is the ordinary world around us. But if the world around you isn't giving you food for thought or sparking some brilliant concept, you may need help in your world-watching technique. These 12 keys will help you unlock a new perspective. Try them out and let me know which ones work best for you.

Key # 1 - Don't Discriminate
Key # 2 - Stop Doing Something Old
Key # 3 - Understanding Perfection
Key # 4 - Encourage Failure
Key # 5 - Discover What Shouldn't Be
Key # 6 - 'Create with the heart; build with the mind'~Criss Jami
Key # 7 - Random Acts of Kindness
Key # 8 - Storytelling
Key # 9 - Reward System for the Stay-at-home Creative
Key #10 - Stay Curious
Key #11 - Take it Outside
Key #12 - Personalize It

These 12 keys will help you unlock a new perspective. Try them out and let me know which ones work best for you.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Personalize It - Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Key # 12

A fast track to jump starting your creative ingenuity is to find a way to personalize an item for a
particular theme, occasion, person, or idea. It's a simple concept but one we often overlook.

First, identify the need or purpose for this item. Next, identify the recipient or user of this item. Then, brainstorm how you can combine those two things and create an item that has a specific purpose for a specific person.

I am, in fact, in the middle of doing this right now. I'll be attending a three day event this summer with many of my friends and family, the 2019 Love Never Fails Convention. I wanted to make a small gift item for each of them, and some extras to give to new friends I'll make while attending.

 I came up with the idea of making wearable pins/brooches and personalizing them with the convention theme and other related thoughts.  My friends and family love little momentos, especially when they're handmade with them in mind.

So, I've used the concept - Personalize It - to unlock my creative ingenuity (Key #12). I've identified the purpose and the recipients.  In the photos included in this article, I've shared with you some of the different pins/brooches I've designed so far. I've completed 32 of the 50 I'll be gifting at this convention in June. I've still got plenty of time and lots of ideas for different color combinations, wording, and embellishments. In fact, I might need some 'intervention' to limit the addiction I now have for these adorable pins.

I've already gifted some of these and they were received
with enthusiasm. So much so, that I've decided to create some additional ones to include in my
Etsy Shop

Now, it's your turn. What purpose and recipients have you come up with? With your creative ingenuity now sparked, what will you design and create?

Key #9 Reward System For The Stay At Home Creative

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Take it Outside - Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Key # 11




Get outside and take a walk through your environment. It doesn't matter if it's a city street, country lane, or your own back yard, there is creative energy everywhere. Take lots of photos, large vistas and small details. Photograph everything, no matter your personal interest at the time. Then, examine your images, each and everyone has something to teach you and some will even inspire you. Try cutting out a small square, oval, or circle in the middle of a sheet of paper to use as a viewing window. Move this around your photo and you'll be amazed at the many wonderful scenes that exist within one image.
Lets's look at a few sample photos for suggestions. This architectural image is really wonderful. It gives me an idea for a quilt pattern from both a horizontal and vertical perspective. I really like the hardscape with straight lines that are broken by soft, draping lines. 



I like the mystery of this curving path that doesn't reveal it's destination.








Don't you just want to crop this photo to include the bicycle and then add your own original elements. What would you put in the basket? Maybe teddy bears, yellow daisies, rolls of fabric, or some fresh picked vegetables and fruit. And I'd make my bike candy-apple red with a black and white polka dot seat.

The point of Key #11 is to see with eyes of appreciation all the wonderful elements in your environment that lend themselves to creating an inspiring image in your mind. And remember to write a short introduction to your thoughts, a short story to describe you feelings toward what you like and what project you'd like to make with this. Describe the mood, the morning or evening light and how you want to capture it. Put all this in your Inspiration Workbook. In that way, you'll never lose the spark of excitement your images produce, even if years go by before you use them.

Storytelling - Key #8