Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Deconstructing the autobiography one blog at a time

It has long been a thought in my head the the best life stories are never completely non-fiction. Although Oprah and probably most publishers have a different view, I believe that embellishment of one's life experience tells it's own sub story which gives and incredible depth, dimension and insight to the main character's, well, character...

It's a view, a glimpse into the mind of the story teller. Did he make the story completely self-agrandizing, does he or she show the need for acceptance, or the desire for fame, is he pre-occupied with one-upping others in an effort to boost his own sense of self-worth, or is he merely telling the story as he experienced it? It's fascinating to creep into an individual's psyche this way and try to figure out how a person views himself by deconstruction the story and reading the subtext. Because whether or not we mean to, we all have a sub-text. And I believe that sub-text changes as we change and grow as individuals, which is why I find blogs so interesting.

I have been delinquent in my blog regularity and often find that I get overwhelmed with exactly WHAT I should blog about. Questions and contemplation often interfere with my free-flow of ideas and expression of them. Will this be interesting?  Is this too much information? Am I being too sarcastic? Can I make a point without offending someone?  The list goes on and it all comes back to that sub-text of writing so that the reader sees me the way I want to be perceived. It's the written equivalent of hair and make up. Am I presenting myself in a way that coincides with who I am, who I want to be? So I'm making a conscious effort to address that today. The reality is (as Popeye so eloquently said) Iyam-whad-Iyam.

I tend to over-analyze. I try to put myself in other situations to view things from other people's perspectives. I try to be kind. I try to be assertive and true to myself, I try not to preach or push my views on others while expecting others to take a minute to consider mine without judgement.  I try to live authentically.

I believe we can all learn from everyone who crosses our paths everyday. I believe that if you want to learn a new skill you just do it. I believe that we will all turn older at our next birthday (30, 40, 50, 60 etc...) but I do not believe that those milestones should pass with the thought that "Now I'm too old to learn piano, or how to paint, or how to bake a perfect ciabatta"  I believe that if you use those excuses you just turn older, not wiser. I believe that if we continue to learn new things we grow older and wiser but feel younger.  I believe that stress is a waste of my time. I believe that spending time with negative people or crazy-makers is completely unnecessary, and I believe that telling them I won't expend any time or energy on them only makes them more negative and crazy, but that's their problem. I believe I should not feel sorry for people who play the victim role every day of their lives in order to control and manipulate people and situations to their liking. I believe people should stop looking for others to blame for their own shortcomings. I believe in personal accountability. I believe the tv should be turned off and the kids should be sent outside to play. I believe the cel phones should be taken away during dinner and dates and drive time and face to face interactions should become a priority again. I believe that courtesy needs to be revived.

I prefer survivors to victims. I prefer artists to critics, I prefer humor and sarcasm to pollyana-esque behavior. I prefer to see things for myself, rather than take the word of others. I prefer to roll up my shirt sleeves and do the work to get the results.  I prefer happy to sad but understand that without each other both would be meaningless.  

I believe in being flexible and know that without flexibility even the most monumental buildings will crumble to the ground if their earth begins to shake. I believe that everyday has teachable moments. I believe that a smile gets you further than an air of superiority. I believe that I will continue to make mistakes and learn from them. I do not believe that you should get a trophy just for showing up. I believe that my subtext will continue to morph as I live my life and I'm okay with that.

What's your subtext? If you wash off the makeup and let the hair down, what really lies beneath?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Lazy - check!
Hazy - check!
{{{CrAzY}}} Not so much!

And that's just the way I like it. That's not to say that crazy things aren't happening here, actually quite the opposite. It's just that I'm not letting the crazies make me crazy too!

For starters, I am currently pregnant with twins - which is crazy good, makes me  crazy  happy, and crazy excited. It also means that in a few short months life, as I know it, may become a bit challenging, maybe even baby crazy, but I'm so looking forward to it. 

Secondly, we just got over a 6 day heat wave with 100+ temps and are starting another one this week which is crazy hot for CT, but I'm keeping cool and calm in the central air and enjoying a splendidly sunny summer so far.

Thirdly, I am working on designing more scrapbooking lines to keep my creative child from going stir crazy in the absence of full time work. This, I am fully embracing as well. I {LOVE!} having the freedom to design when I'm inspired and motivated and CRAZY creative. It's been an eye opening experience to have complete creative freedom designing for a company that doesn't micro-manage or put too many chefs in the kitchen so to speak. Finally, I've been blessed to work with a team that understands the word team, and doesn't make decisions by committee on every little detail. What an absolute joy to be appreciated and recognized and given complete control over my own designs. And sometimes it means there are crazy deadlines, but that's a kind of crazy I can work with!

The last crazy thing that's going on is that I haven't blogged in so long. With all that's been going on in my life it's kind of crazy to think that I thought I had nothing to say. Perhaps there was just no time to say it ~ either way I'm back from the shadows and ready to start blogging {like crazy} again! 

Friday, March 19, 2010

HDB - 2010 KCD color awards

This year March came in like a lion and quickly gave way to lovely lambiness with warm weather and sunny skies and that has made a lot of people very happy, myself included.

Sunny warm days make smiles bloom like crocuses, peeking their bright green shoots from the cold hard earth. And with all this giddiness, my mind turns to springtime color palettes. I must admit, I've never been a fan of pastels. They always seemed too watered down and wishy washy for me. I lean towards bold strong color palettes with striking confident color, but this year I'm starting to bend and sway with the gentle spring breeze and am finally enjoying the power of pastels. 

When I say power of pastels, I mean the ability of pastels to get into one's head with thoughts of Easter and babies, of laughter and lightness. I never gave pastels the credit they deserved for their quiet unassuming way of influencing one's thoughts. I am finally understanding and appreciating the soft touch that these colors bring to our lives. Pastels are not weak and wishy washy, they are the sage and seasoned grandparents that gently nudge, encourage and applaud discovery rather than the egocentric bright {look at me} colors that I've been so fond of all these years. Pastels play well with others, share the spotlight and give inspired performances. 

And like the kind nurturing grandparents, I also think pastels do best when they have that wild child of brightness to look after. It brings contrast and energy to the design. So with no further delay, the envelopes please...

The 2010 Krys Caywood Design Best Supporting Color award goes to... Pastel Yellow!!!

The 2010 Krys Caywood Design Best Color award goes to... wait, it's a tie... Turquoise and Tomato Red!

Expect to see a lot of  these accomplished colors in the next line...previews coming soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No More Merry-Go-Round

Roller coasters were never an amusement park favorite of mine. I preferred the merry-go-round as a kid. Probably because they are predictable; up and down, round and round. You never really get anywhere but you get there safe and content. Seems to me there used to be golden rings to reach for, but, I've noticed that most carousels no longer have them. I wonder why that is (although I'm guessing it's an insurance issue in reality) were they too dangerous?, too challenging?, was it too upsetting to kids who just couldn't grab the rings so they took away from everyone? It's pretty strange huh? It's like people are just content to go round in circles and listen to the calliope while bobbing up and down, and it's a good metaphor for life. So many of us just ride the merry-go-round for so long that when we finally get in line for a roller coaster we're scared, nervous, and desperately looking for the exit. And if we do manage to make it onto the ride and get strapped in we end up closing our eyes for the whole ride, or tossing our cookies shortly thereafter...

I guess what I'm saying is there comes a time to step up and ride the roller coaster, front row, eyes wide open.

The past few years have felt like that for me...going in circles, wanting more adventure, reaching for the golden ring and finally stepping beyond the comfortable confines of the calliope to ride the rollercoaster, open eyed. This week's events were my personal equivalent of tackling the Incredible Hulk roller coaster in Universal Islands of Adventure.  It's been unpredictable, unexpected, incredibly fast, exciting, energizing and emotional. And I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Lots of things happening here. Many twists and turns, loops and sudden drops, but I'm confident that it will all be worth it. And the best part is, I didn't throw up! (not yet anyway)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Diggity Blog - Blanco puts a screeching halt on the day's chores

Well, today was supposed to be a laundry day with scattered showers of scraptivity but it turns out that our cat, Blanco, has other ideas. Yes that is the laundry basket he's lolling in...

So, rather than disturb his adorableness, I took the opportunity to digitally scrap the moment, consciously avoiding housework with reckless creative abandon! ~LOL~  I do believe it was time well spent!

Sometimes we all need a break from the daily grind. Chores are mostly BORES in my mind anyway but I guess I can't complain too much. I'm lucky enough to have clothes and blankets to wash, a washing machine to wash them in, and an appreciative husband who always notices and thanks me for putting fresh linens on the bed. And I too {LOVE} fresh sheets. There's just something about the crisp, crumb-free, Downey scented sheets that makes me ridiculously happy. Simple pleasures make it all worthwhile.

And while I have enjoyed my morning off from the role of "Little Susie Homemaker", I know that cat wont sleep all day. At 27lbs, it's a safe bet he'll be at the food bowl anytime now and I'll be donning the LSH moniker, pretending like I'm the housewife in a 60's sit-com to amuse myself while doing the mundane fluff and fold routine. 

~ Enter Darren Stephens (Dana, that one's for you...) "Hi Honey I'm home! Dinner smells wonderful." Now if I could only get that darn nose wiggle down so I could continue to play instead of clean...

It's really not such a bad life, huh? :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Memorable Monday - Quotes and Lyrics that inspire me to create

Ah, here it is Monday and I've accomplished much already today but I am now starting to feel that pre-lunch lull kicking in. My mind's starting to wander and I feel a little "floaty" and ungrounded which could mean several things, I need to eat, I need a nap, or I just need to suck it up and get working on something to wake me up. Generally I combine 1 and 3 and get moving, if I give in to 2 I wake up and feel like I have to start all over again so, 1 and 3 it is!

Quotes and lyrics are a great source of inspiration to me. Honestly, I have a lot of those "dang, that was good, wish I'd thought of that" moments when I come across a particularly pertinent quote. I love to see what quotes "click with you as well, so if you have any favorite quotes that help motivate and inspire you please post comments!

Here are a few of my favorite motivators (especially when I need a swift kick in the butt to get me moving forward):

Don't let tomorrow find you wishin', Boy you've got a mission,  Shake it, rattle and roll - Jimmy Buffett

   Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.- Mary Kay Ash   

One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire. - John W. Foster

Just do it - Nike

  Well begun is half done - John Fawcett  

It's kind of fun to do the impossible. - Walt Disney

Empowerment is accepting that our imaginings are actually our "coming attractions" - Krys Caywood

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein

Nothing happens without action. - Anon

  I like to move it move it - King Julian, Madagascar  

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Refilling the Well, creative seasons

Seems I'm a bit backblogged this week! I've been busy with design and family visiting from the the Pacific Northwest, and appointments...sheesh. Sometimes I enjoy the social interruptions but when I over-schedule them I start to get crabby due to lack of creative time to myself. I know it's bad, but acknowlegdement is the first step on the road to recovery! :) (Seriously though, at my age change isn't likely!)

So, disclaimer out of the way now on to Thursday's,  I mean today's blog! Todays blog is about renewal and refilling the well. As much as I complain and get irritable when I'm interrupted, I do realize that it is essential to my creative growth and expression in irreplaceable ways.  I tend to work in a vacuum, meaning absolute total seclusion, and while that allows me to crank out a lot of work, it also drains the creative juices that fuel my creativity. So it's good and necessary to interact with the world to keep current and not become repetitive and stagnant in my design style.

The life cycle of creativity for me, is much like the seasons. While it appears that winter is the death of everything, it is actually that much needed respite from all the activity and creation we enjoyed over the spring, summer, and fall. Winter is Mother Nature's version of hibernation and it seems that we all fall prey to it. Especially in New England where the weather is cold, blustery and brutal. We tend to hole up for the long winter months and by now start to loudly voice our need for spring! This is exactly the cycle that I go through with design. I'm ready for spring. I've had my month long nap and now I'm charged up to start an explosion of color and pattern on the page. Although it's still officially winter, in my design cycle it's most definitely spring. And in the outside world signs of spring are starting to peek through too. It's been a long cold winter and this past week was full of time spent out and about, enjoying the 40 degree days, loving seeing the sun and spending time laughing and chatting with family and friends. It's been like a flower blooming through a blanket of snow.

I have come to the conclusion that we all need a little winter to fully enjoy the vibrant color and activity that comes with spring. Winter clears your palette. Winter give us time to reconnect, to refill the well, and soon, the little seeds that you've planted take root and sprout, and if you make the time to watch, they might just magically bloom right before your eyes...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Total Blog Fog!

I'm in a bit of a blog fog today. Truthfully I'm in a total fog today! I stayed up watching the Olympics last night and obviously did not get enough sleep to sustain sufficient brain power to write anything remotely interesting. Therefore, I am sharing a digital scrap page that simply and sweetly captures the sleepiness I feel right now! 

My kitty Chase, affectionately called M-WOWZer (because when he meows he says "M-WOWZ"), had a super sleepy face in this photo and it's perfectly summing up how I feel on this snowy day, fireplace blazing and hot chocolate buzz wearing off...oh to be a cat, if only for one day.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Memorable Monday - Honoring the positive influences in our lives

So last week was about turning your dream into an action plan. And after a week you may need a little more motivation and encouragement to get out there and take that first step. While I encourage you all to do that, it's often more meaningful to look at the people who have had a positive influence on us to get motivated and feel secure and confident as we move forward into what seems like the uncharted territory of great success.

This past weekend I was fortunate to have had a wonderful visit with my Godparents whom I have not seen in almost 10 years. And I have to say that, hands down, besides my own parents, this enthusiastic and loving couple truly influenced my life in more positive ways that I can count. Just spending several hours recounting stories from my childhood days spent with them and their children reminded me how much I missed having them in my daily life. There is something incredibly comforting that emanates from certain people. It's as if we're dialed into the same frequency and the glorious hum of that life energy puts us in a state of bliss. I know it sounds odd, but you have to admit that sometimes you say "she has a way about her..." or "there's just something about him"... That's what I'm talking about.  The connection between people that feels like home. That feeling is the focus of todays Memorable Monday task.

Take out your journal and write the names of 10 people who have influenced your life in a positive way. Write down examples of their generosity of spirit, the encouraging words or actions that you remember and take stock in those words and actions to remind yourself what wonderful things you have to offer.

Now, take the time to reflect on the positives in yourself and consider ways you can share your enthusiasm for life with another person. Maybe one day they will put you on their list of "10 people that positively influenced my life". Keep the cycle of positivity going in your own way.

Sharing yourself is often a great motivator to move forward in whatever creative venture you wish to undertake. Have a memorable Monday! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead III- KDi STUDiOS

Many of you know I owned and ran a greeting card company named KDi STUDiOS. But not many of you know why or how it started. This is the story of KDi.

For many years, since graduating college, I used the title KDi STUDiOS for my freelance illustration business, K = Krys, D = Denshick and I = Illustration. But after leaving a job in 2001 (under extremely bad working conditions),  I was left in a very dark place and my loving and patient husband found the perfect way to heal me. He suggested that we start our own greeting card company. (this occurred after looking for a birthday card for someone, and reading through 20-30 cards before finding one that was just okay). And just like the SkiDaddles story, when Dave gives me creative encouragement, I have a tendency to run with it. That is exactly the case of KDi.

We began by deciding that we'd keep the KDi name only now we joked that it stood for Krys and Dave Innovations (we actually got asked what it stood for by many at the National Stationery Show so it was good we figured it out beforehand!) and we kept the original logo of the little pigtailed girl who looked a bit pissed off to some, but she had character and was memorable as we found out in the following months and years when people would show up at our booth and say, "There she is!!! We we're looking for the little girl!"

When we started the company we set our sights on the National Stationery Show which was only 5-6 months away, so needless to say there was quite a bit of work to be done and amazingly in that short amount of time I cranked out over 300 card designs, we built a booth and all the tables and furnishings to go in it and we created a computerized order system which was unheard of back in 2002! We were handling everything ourselves, from design to packing orders to customer service.

And it paid off in many ways, none of which, however, were financial independence!!! LOL Over the next three years I designed and ran a business that had international sales and recognition. We were nominated for 6 LOUIE awards in our first and second years of business. We didn't win, but the nomination alone is a fantastic honor. They take three cards in each category so we like to tell ourselves we came in second! LOL

It was a wonderful fun three years but we learned that it takes more than determination, drive and good design to make a greeting card company successful. It takes money, a lot of money, and sales. Having a reliable sales team is crucial to your success. We had reps but none of them seemed to move enough product to keep us afloat and neither Dave nor I were drawing a paycheck. Why did we do it? It was a leap of faith, and the end result was better than any financial gain.  We grew as people, we stretched our wings, we learned more than we ever would have just working for anyone else, we had a fabulous wonderful adventure and it brought us closer together in the process.

There was a lot learned during those years, but the most important thing I came to know was my husband's love for me knows no bounds. He knew in his heart what would make be better, more than any doctor or friend or counselor, he knew me and what makes my heart happy and he gave me the opportunity to find out for myself just what I'm made of. And he showed me that no one and nothing could ever take away my talent or passion or unique views on life.

Congratulations go out to....

If your name is in the winner's circle, please email me at kryscaywooddesign@gmail.com to claim your prize. Since both new comments were put on last weeks digital rub on giveaway, I'm not sure if you would prefer those pieces instead of the frames. Please indicate in your email which you wish to receive. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

HDB delay

I know, I know the calendar says Hot Diggity Blog Looking Back, Looking Ahead part III for today but I just have not gotten to it yet. I promise I will post it tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wild Card Wednesday is over

Time's up on the Wild Card Wednesday SkiDaddle hat prize! Sorry folks! That's why it's called Wild Card - you never know when it will be posted or what it will be and there won't be any facebook prompts, you just need to sign into the blog on the Wednesdays and look for it! Check the Calendar for alerts on the next Wild Card Wednesday date - it's not every week. It's WiLD!!!


Tell me why you should win a free SkiDaddle hat by 7:00 pm est today and one person will be selected to win a hat of our choosing. Only 1 person will win! You have 45 minutes to get in your comments!!! Happy Wild Card Wednesday!!! GOOD LUCK!

NOTE: You must be located in the Continental US to win and must provide mailing address upon notification that you've won to receive your prize.

Prize will be shipped in 2-4 weeks time. If you wish to receive it earlier you will need to provide a fed ex number and cover the cost of shipping.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead II - Chapeaux de poissons à Chamonix

The next craft chapter (not necessarily in chronological order) as I look back, evolved into a business that my husband and I started while on a trip with friends to the french alps. But it started months earlier on the banks of Lake Pocotopaug, well in a two bedroom condo that faced the lake anyway.

While Dave and I were dating he told me a story of wanting to have a great big shark hat, which, when he skied down a mountain would fly behind him giving the appearance of the shark swimming.  (Note to all: Never, and I mean NEVER tell such a story to a bored and extremely creative Pisces with a sewing machine and a coupon for polar fleece)

Unsure of just what I was getting myself into, I started drawing up patterns and cutting out fleece sharks and teeth until after about 8 prototypes I had one that actually worked! Then I really got creative...the flood gates were opened and I was fully focused on finny fleece fish! Once I had the shark figured out, it was super easy to alter it a tad to create a dolphin, then came the gold fish, spotted puffer, clownfish, starfish, sting ray and the octopus (oh yes, it was immense and absolutely hysterical to see in action). These were joined by a beautiful blue marlin, electric eel and a seahorse and finally the piece de resistance - the Orca whose blowhole doubled as a chapstick holder!

During my fleece fish fabrication frenzy, we planned a ski trip to Chamonix with our good friends Jeff and Lori from Cinci. And in February 1999 (? I'm sooo not good with dates and numbers...) we headed across the pond. We landed in Paris and took a few days to toodle around London and Paris before renting a car and driving the 2-3 hours to Chamonix. It wasn't long before we realized that the drive would be much longer due to the heavy snowfall.  It took us about 12 hours to make that trip and we arrived in Chamonix around 4:00 am to the Gendarme asking us what our destination was.

Unbeknownst to us there had been a series of major avalanches and the slopes were all shut down to skiers. We shared our chalet address with the guard and travelled about 10 yards from him when our car coughed, sputtered and died, the little Renault couldn't handle any more snow. Luckily for us the bars had just closed and 4 young men came up behind the car and started pushing! They pushed us into a parking lot and lo and behold (i kid you not) it was parking lot to the Chalet we were staying at! It was fortuitous and unbelievably surreal - 4:00 am in a foreign country covered in 12 feet of snow has that effect.

Anyway, here's where the business part starts...Since the slopes were all closed we had no options other that walking around the adorable town of Chamonix and mixing with the locals. With all the snow and freezing temps all four of us donned one of the super warm stuffed fish hats and before long we had droves of small french children following us down the snow covered streets singing "Les poissons, Mama, les poissons!" We received the same excited and amused response from just about everyone we met. People flocked to us and tried on the hats and took pictures. We all laughed and many joined us for drinks and broken conversation. We found a great internet cafe that had a great house red, and there we registered the website and that was the start of SkiDaddles hats and our company Liftlines Inc.

Below are some images of the hats. I will have to find the rest of the candid photos and scan them in tomorrow so you can see them in action.

FAB FEB FRIDAY giveaway reveal

One lucky follower will get framed by Krys Caywood Design this week! These frame overlays are designed to fit over 4x6 photos but are fully scaleable to fit your needs. Here's a sneak peek at a few of the frames in the bunch!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead I - The Puzzle Queen

When I came up with the title for this post it didn't occur to me just how much I've really done over the past 10 years and how ridiculous it would be to try to recap all of it in just one blog post...So I think I will break it into a few posts spread out over the next week or so. :) I'll start with inspiration for a major undertaking...Mosaic Table Tops...

When I was young, elementary school aged, I was constantly put to shame by my sister who excelled at puzzles. She'd blast through a 1000 piece puzzle in two days flat and strut around the house like the puzzle queen. She even went so far as to buy the puzzle preserver one time to savor the victory of finishing one of her fabulous puzzles. She was relentless in her pursuit of the perfect puzzle. She quickly advanced from 1000 piecers to 2500 and 5000! Her puzzles would take up the entire play table and I couldn't do a darn thing about it. So one day I devised a plan to curtail her love of the predominant puzzling that was taking over my craft area...

We went to the store and I watched Karen pick out her next victim...a 10,000 piece puzzle. I was bound and determined to take the puzzle queen crown so I waited patiently until she got home and opened the box, carefully pulling out all the edge pieces, which, everybody knows, is the ONLY way to start a puzzle...and while "helping her" pick out the edge pieces I silently and stealthily pocketed one little piece from the center section of course. Then it was all patience...who knew how long it would take her to finish this beastly puzzle, 10,000 pieces could take days...but I waited and lurked and waited some more until finally she was almost done. There she was holding what she thought was the last piece in her hands. She placed it in the puzzle and slowly started to realize the puzzle wasn't done...there was a gaping hole in it! But it was a new puzzle! How on earth could there be a piece missing already?!?! 

When she started to huff and puff, my parents and grandmother rushed in to help look for the missing piece. My moment of glory had arrived. To a full house,  I excitedly made my entrance, and with the boldest, most grandiose gesture possible, I reached into my pocket, pulled out the piece and snapped it into place! At last!!! Victory was mine. I was through the roof as I announced loudly enough for the neighbors to hear "I FINISHED THE 10,000 PIECE PUZZLE!!! I'M THE PUZZLE QUEEN! I FINISHED IT ALL BY MYSELF!" (which, really wasn't a lie, because I did finish it all by myself, I just didn't do the rest of it). I was promptly sent to my room until dinner.

It was a hollow victory that stayed with me all these years until one day a wind storm blew into town and knocked over our deck table, shattering the glass table tops. Here was my golden opportunity, the opportunity that I'd been waiting for.  A chance to redeem myself and rightfully claim the puzzle queen crown as my own. I immediately went online and found a mosaic supply store. Such beautiful glass tiles in a glorious array of colors! No puzzle could ever compare to what I would create. AND...no piece would ever NOT fit...I bought nippers and the proper glue and grout and sealant (my version of the puzzle preserver) and then I slaved over the table top for months through out the summer and one day,  I stood back and smiled...it was done. It was beautiful, and it was indeed, worthy of the crown. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Memorable Monday - From Dreamer to Doer...

They say America is the land of opportunity, a place where dreams come true. And anyone who watched the Super Bowl yesterday can attest to that. A true Cinderella story, first time Saints beating the almost undefeated Colts. It's re-affirming whether or not you are a Saints fan. It's a testament to my point that dreams really can come true.

The little known fact about dreams is that they often come true AFTER you put a lot of hard work into them. The overnight sensation is most often an overnight sensation just to the public, while he himself has been working several jobs, beating the pavement and making strides for many weeks, months, even years to achieve the dream.

Today is the day to go from dreamer to doer. Shake of the lofty ideas of suddenly being discovered and put pen to paper to outline your dream in attainable bits. List the dream, and list the steps it will take to get there.

Now, take a step...

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement. - Bo Bennett

 You have the courage and power to live your dreams. -Les Brown 

If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true? - Oscar Hammerstein

You must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.  -Barbara Sher

 If you want your dreams to come true, don't over sleep. -Yiddish Proverb 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Congratulations go out to....



Since there were really only three comments, I couldn't pick just one! Congratulations on winning the FIRST EVER FAB FEB FRIDAY for FOLLOWERS giveaway from Krys Caywood Design!

Ladies, contact me at kryscaywooddesign@gmail.com with your email addresses and I'll send the files out asap!

Share the blog with your friends 'cuz next weeks giveaway is gonna be BIG!!! More followers, more prizes, more fun!

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back on Monday with the first Memorable Monday post!

It's Almost time...

You have until 4:45 to get those comments onto the blog! If you can't sign in to be a follower just leave a comment below this post and I'll include your name in the drawing! :)

The winner will receive 25 individual 300 dpi .png files and the composite image shown below.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cupid draw back your bow....

Well, as promised here is the the fabulously fun Valentines craft I mentioned yesterday. It's a spin on the traditional Cupid Love Arrow only gentler. Getting shot by an arrow to fall in love didn't seem so romantic, but getting tapped by a magic wand on the other hand.....enchanting!!! I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do! It's really sweet!

To begin I purchased foam hearts with adhesive backs (you could use chipboard too). I gathered my selected papers and stuck a heart to the back side of the page and cut out. (again if you have a cricut, silhouette or other fancy die-cutting machine, you could save yourself LOADS of time here by adhering your paper to chipboard and cutting the hearts out with the machine instead of by hand!
Once the heart is cut out, simply adhere it to the dowel rod by using a second foam heart which you would peel and adhere to the back of the first heart sandwiching the dowel in between. (chipboard users would apply adhesive then follow the same step)
After the heart is firmly attached begin wiring your festive hearts and beaded floral embellishments and ribbons around the dowel too then cover by tying a feather boa around the wires and ribbons to conceal the mess - OR you can tie on your feather boa first then tie ribbons and push them up to the bottom of the boa. I've done tried both methods and found it to be just matter of preference. The boa is the key though, because it hides the messy part and protects your fingers from those wired ends that stick out.
Once the boas are on, arrange your wired bangles and ribbons and VOILA! Your wand is complete! I found an adorable little tin pail for a $1.00 at Michael's that I filled with colored paper clips and added a boa around the top to stand the wands in. You can use any vase or pot with floral foam or sand or sugar....any medium which will give you support for the wands. (NOTE: These are not suggested for use as toys for small children as the wires could cut little fingers and the bangles could cause a choking hazard - use for decoration only)


Lots of exciting stuff happening here at Krys Caywood Design. Today we have a great Cupid craft project underway AND we're announcing our FAB FEB FRIDAYS for FOLLOWERS giveaway!

To win you need to sign up as a follower of Krys Caywood Design and leave a comment below. (please keep in mind the giveaway is for personal use only, you may not reproduce, redistribute or sell it as your own design) 

This weeks giveaway is the new FAB FEB Digital Rub-On sheet lovingly designed just for you! See below!

We'd LOVE to see what you design with the rub-ons if you win, so once you create a scrapbook page,  card or other project please send us a photo so we can post it!

Remember you MUST sign up to be a follower and leave a comment below to be in the contest. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced Friday, February 5th at 5 p.m est.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cupid craft project coming tomorrow!!!

Hey All you crafty cats, get ready for some BIG Valentines fun tomorrow! Here's a sneak peek of the materials I've gathered for a very festive project. Can you guess what we're making? 

Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren't even there before.  ~Mignon McLaughlin

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Defining moments defining me...

A funny thing happened yesterday when I went to create the cover for the first of my two new creative journals. Let me backtrack slightly... I decided that one journal would be mostly dedicated to me and my life and the other would be dedicated more to creative ideas and thoughts, inspirations, sketches, design concepts, etc. That being said, I set forth to create a cover for the first journal and thought it would be interesting to tear apart my old dictionary and use it as the base for the cover. You know, find words that defined me, tear them out and collage them on the cover. So here's the funny part, I walked to the bookcase and grabbed the dictionary which I have not used since my college days and my thumb slipped into a page when I grabbed it....here is the page it opened to...

I kid you not, my jaw dropped when I saw the title word was craft! I took it as a sign that I was on the right track, despite being a bit conflicted about tearing apart a perfectly good dictionary. It was a defining moment. Needless to say I was now off and running. I started thinking of words I identified with and tore the pages out of that dictionary until I had enough for the cover of my "defining me" journal.

After tearing out the pages the real fun began.  Mod Podge is something I never really used as a kid. It was however, my sisters favorite craft supply as she loved to decoupage. This was because she couldn't really draw so well but she could cut and Mod Podge Holly Hobbyesque pictures onto precut and stained little wooden plaques which were then proudly displayed throughout our home, while my multitude of drawings stayed firmly rooted in my sketchpads due to the fact that nothing, and I mean NOTHING was ever magnetically attached to our refrigerator for fear of scratching that beautiful brown Kitchen Aid appliance, and you could forget about ever using tape  or tacks on doors too! This is not to say my parents didn't applaud my creative endeavors. The most certainly did, and look where it's gotten me today! - oh yeah, where I am today...sorry, I digressed. Anyway I thought, in the case of collaging the cover of my new journal, Mod Podge would work beautifully (or so I hoped) So I found an old paintbrush with bristles pointing every which way and started coating the cover with the podge, positioned pieces and applied more mp as needed. And when all the pieces were placed, I mod-podged over everything one more time until I was left with this...

The hardest part was... WAITING FOR IT TO DRY! - I, of course, cheated and held it in front of a space heater to speed the process :) Once dry, I trimmed the edges and added a few crafty touches including some clear cut frames and words from a program called Love Letters designed by a friend and former co-worker Lori Marek for Little Yellow Bicycle. Although it was a Valentines program, the black elements worked fabulously with the basic black and white of the text and the back cover a black spiral binder. I finished it off by applying a few flocked chipboard pieces and rub ons,  ran a ribbon along the rough left edge along the binder to clean up the look then topped it all off with a few ribbon ties on the binder (noting that I will probably want to completely cover the binder with many more ribbons over the course of using this journal).

Here is a view of the finished cover.

After cleaning up the mess I had made I realized I had a few leftover pieces that I didn't want to lose or forget so I decided to make a pocket for the inner front cover of the journal. I used a gorgeous flocked brocade paper (again from Lori's Valentine program) trimmed it to size and cut a decorative edge on the top edge of it for the front of the pocket. Then I chose a great lined notebooky style paper to complement the flocked piece, cut it to size and sewed the two pieces together then adhered the pocket to the inner front cover and voila, adorable and stylish storage pocket! You can see the pocket below.

This was a super easy project that transformed a standard black sketchbook into a journal that truly defines me.  Now I can start writing again :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A brand spankin' new creative journal

Oh the excitement that comes with the purchase of a brand new journal...I LOVE it! I love them so much that I actually bought two yesterday, mostly because I had a gift card from my nephew from Christmas 2008 that I had yet to use and thought, hmmm what do I want to treat myself to at Barnes and Noble...and after much searching around, it hit me. I don't need another book to read right now, I need a book to write!

So I found the cool journal and sketchbook wall and picked out two. I wanted ones with blank covers to make them my own. Also, I prefer to use sketchbooks for journals because typically journals are lined and I don't  like to write on the lines (again, not a linear thinker... it's too confining for me).  I like the freedom of writing random thoughts anywhere at all angels in fun and crazy font styles combined with magazine clippings, phrases, quotes, art elements, paints, colored markers and pencils etc...I am sooo anxious to mess them up. They're just too pristine and empty right now. See?

There's my shadow, but soon I will put my own personal stamp on them and post for comparison.  Creative Journalling is all about artistic expression along side of traditional handwritten thoughts and ideas. To start I tear apart magazines with phrases that I can relate to and think I will be able to use for journalling prompts in the books. Here are a few I tore out just now.

1.  Guilt is not one of its ingredients.
2.  Any similarities to real life flavors are purely intentional.
3.  Feed their curiosity.
4.  Some relationships are meant to be.
5.  WAKE-UP CALL no. 9
6.  move closer to your goals NOW
7.  Wine needs time to breathe. People do too: How Do You Breathe
8.  Kinda beats stirring fruit up from the bottom, doesn't it?

These were all from ads.  Can you match the phrase up with the Company that placed the ad?

a.  Ray Ban
b.  Oscar Mayer
c.  Special K
d.  Altoids
e.  Danskin
f.  Sun Chips
g.  Jelly Belly
h.  Pepperidge Farm
i.  Turning Leaf
j.  Edy's

Now forget the ad and try to think how you would apply just the phrase to your life and what it would bring to your creative journal. Here's where it gets fun! Yeah, play time, get out the sissors, glue, pens, pencils, ribbons etc...it's time to make a big mess!!! Fun Fun Fun. Explore, enjoy, and exercise your mind.

Oh what, you want the answers? alright...scroll down:

(1f, 2g, 3b, 4h, 5c, 6e, 7i, 8j, 9a, 10d)