Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa's Sleigh

We're now down to the wire in preparation for Christmas so I'll keep this short.  Just wanted to get in one more ornament before the big day to share.   There isn't much to tell when it comes to the initial concept.  

The idea came to me when sketching out our Christmas images and thought it would be kind of nice to do a Japanese version of Santa's sleigh.   Kind of fought with the problem of the size of the crane compared to the sleigh since that makes the stamp kind of ...BIG.  Anyway, it all worked out and turned out fun in the end!

When revisiting the image this year, I suddenly wanted to do this as an ornament.  Quite a challenge to make it 3D, but I enjoyed myself just trying to make it work.  I had decided to have the crane hang on his own hook, separate from the sleigh.  That way, he could be higher and on a different branch altogether.  This makes it hard to find a place to hang on the tree though.  I think my friend, June's idea was better to attach both threads (one from crane and one from sleigh) to a customized wire hanger, like a mobile so at least they would always hang the right way.  Maybe for next time.

Thanks for stopping by again, and here's wishing a wonderful holiday to everyone!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Cookies!

Every year at Christmas, I prepare cookies for my husband's colleagues and it's become a bit of an event at his office. He said that when the season approaches, they already begin to anticipate the little packets of goodies with much enthusiasm.  I know it's more of an American thing to give out Christmas cards, but not sure if giving out homemade baked goods during Christmas is something the Italians do on a regular basis like back home.  Well, in any case, it is fun to give out something in which people look forward.

Anyway, this year the featured cookie was "phantoms", which sounds more Halloween than Christmas, but the richness of the treat makes it a perfect giveaway for this crowd.  I have learned that, for the most part, Italians love hazelnuts and chocolate (Italy is the home of Nutella!) so I tend to concentrate on these flavors more.  The recipe came from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Bernbaum, however since macadamia nuts are not so commonly found here in Italy, I substituted them for the much-loved hazelnut.

Also, wanted to share a couple of jokes with you regarding the cookie-making event.  The first talks about how dangerous cookie-making is.

And this second one is a result of the first.  In case it's too subtle, my mouth is covered in chocolate and crumbs are all over me in evidence of my cookie-tasting crime.

Again, take care everyone!  Have a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Building Shimo-san

Well, it looks like we are deep into the Christmas season now so I thought I would share an ornament that I made.  I love making tree ornaments most, even though they don't serve much purpose but to help decorate an already over decorated tree.  

This one is made from the Sister Stamp image of the snowman (Shimo-san).  I had these plastic ornaments lying around from last year and finally had use for one of them.  I just reduced the image I had already colored and fit it into the globe, but since I wanted to have the characters seen from both sides,  before gluing in place, I had to fix the kimono of the boy to be correct for the reverse (it must be tied the correct way, following the Japanese tradition).  Then I created the "snow" from a cotton pad turned inside out, placed at the bottom of the ball – didn't have a regular cotton ball handy – and added glitter for "bling".  Also put at the top – next to the bow – some flowers that my sister gave me in summer, for the finishing touch.  A simple but fun project! 

Also thought I would share the evolution of the image with you.  The idea came from my sister as we brainstormed Christmas-themed stamps.  I must admit I wasn't too keen on the idea initially and kind of reluctantly worked on the sketch.   I thought it was a little "modern" for what I liked.   But as I continued, I started really enjoying the idea and the challenge of telling the story and keeping a somewhat traditional feel of the scene.  In the end, I sent the image to my sister and told her that it came out just so darn cute!  Good idea!  Well, that showed me!  Now it's one of my favorites.

Here's some of the other opriginal sketches I had done for the other holiday Sister Stamps images of the past.  I kind of like the image of the little girl with the stocking (Yuki) as well.  I thought of when I was young and how Christmas was my very favorite time of the year, and still is.  I believed in everything and the magic was so very real to me.  To wake up in the morning and see my stocking full was the greatest feeling. So that image was to express my sheer joy of Santa's visit.

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season.  Take care and thanks for visiting!

Oops, I forgot another ornament I made using the Shimo-san image. This one is a simple decoupage project on a paper-mache' ornament sold at Michael's. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Books

As we surround ourselves with the holiday spirit, I thought I would dig up and share with you the layouts for the winter Tinker Bell Art Pool: The Secret of the Wings.  I really love this film and had a lot of fun doing the artwork for this one.  It's funny how, as you review an old project, it seems you can be transported back to the moment you were working on it. Like listening to a once popular song.  As I went through my files, I found all my thumbnail sketches as well.  While revisiting them I realized that it may be interesting to share these too. You can see the progress and some changes along the way: some that were requested, some because of template constraints, and some that were just the natural evolution.

As you can see, some of the spreads turned out almost exactly the same as the initial sketch, with only a few adjustments – like for example pp14-15.

While others were divided up and new art had to be created to accommodate the changed format of adding a vignette – as for pp22-23.

Still others underwent a complete turn around.  A different perspective was requested or another point of view was chosen – like on pp30-31.

Personally, I like many of the initial sketches better than the layout.  I think it may be the energy and spontaneity in the quick sketch that are appealing to me.  But there are a few of the layouts that I do enjoy looking at again, and some of the changes requested did improve the storytelling!

And if you want to see more, go to the "books" section in the Portfolio. Thanks for viewing!

All the images above are ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting Ready for the Holidays!

The holiday season is already upon us!  Looked out the window the other day and it was snowing, which is a bit earlier than usual this time of year.  Anyway, just thought I would get into the holiday mood and share a project that I created which was inspired by all the creativity going on with my sister's blog  There were a lot of wonderful projects shared regarding this reindeer image I had created for Sister Stamps.  I was inspired to use this image and make it a rocker with a treat box in-between.  Hadn't seen anything like this yet so had to create my own,...on my favorite new toy, the Silhouette Cameo.

I also wanted to share this snowman that I made using the svgcuts download.  Their 3D projects are incomparable and such fun to make.

Ok, this was just a quick show and tell. Thanks for visiting and here's to a happy start for the holidays!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fairy Frost

It's getting colder and it feels winter is on its way! Perfect timing to share these layouts I did a few years back for the Disney Fairies property.  I don't think all the pages came out very good but I did enjoy telling this story through these images.  I particularly like how these two spreads ended up. Please go to the portfolio section to see more. Thanks for stopping by!

All the images above are ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Pumpkin Coach

Welcome to my blog! In my first post, I would like to share what I did for my nieces for autumn. I found this beautiful set from SVGCuts and I thought it would be a perfect theme for the season. I’ve always been intrigued by three-dimensional paper-craft and the cutting power of the Silhouette CAMEO® allows me to explore this area of crafting more easily. I have recently got this plotter – thank you, Sis! – and I am really excited to try out the many templates available out there. Given I have just started working on this new hobby, assembling and customizing this pumpkin coach box was a bit ambitious for me, but I loved doing it and I am pretty happy with the results. 

 Since I had my nieces in mind, I tried to keep it young, romantic, and a little “princessy”. Went with the glittery papers and a light palette. As I was constructing this, though, I made notes in my mind about what I would do for next time.  Would’ve like the door to actually open and would want the wheels to be mounted on axels so they could really work instead of just glued on.  It will take some planning and adjusting beforehand, but it will make for a new challenge the next time and won’t seem like I’m just doing the same thing over and over.

I have to admit, I didn’t get too creative with the decorations. It is not too different from what you see on SVGCuts , but it’s still a great project to do and had lots fun.   I filled the pumpkin with candy as it was during Halloween when I gave it to them. They seemed thrilled to get it, and pulled all the candy out immediately.  Hmmm, so was it the pumpkin or the candy that they were thrilled with?

You can use it also as a lantern!

When he edited these photos, Guido played a little with the filters to create the frosty-wintery look you can see below, and I think this could be a good inspiration to create a version of this craft for the Holiday Season!

See my link section on the right if you are interested in SVGCuts or Silhouette CAMEO®.